Is Duterte unstoppable, or will Binay or Roxas spring a surprise?


The surveys
For the most prudent of reasons, I have never accepted as gospel truth the claims of the paid propaganda surveys on the alleged standing of our national candidates. You don’t have to, either. I have a profound respect for scientific polling, but not for polls by fraudsters who make a killing every election by shamelessly proclaiming what 105 million Filipinos think of candidates they do not know, on the basis of alleged interviews with 1,200 respondents.

These are mainly “push polls,” “media call-in polls,” “biased interest-group polls,” all of which respectable professionals call “pseudo polls,” or “polls that stink.” They are fudged and manipulated. You could almost smell who’s paying, but they never say who they are. A foolish (stupid) court ruling protects the crooked pollsters from disclosing the identity of those who pay for their services, saying it is all “confidential.”

Thus the sponsors do not have to report to the Commission on Elections the enormous sums they pay for these surveys as part of their election expenses; the fraudsters do not have to report their income to the Bureau of Internal Revenue; and no law protects the public from those whose most harmful deception is automatically disseminated by the sinister and superficial media without critical analysis or judgment.

Now, these surveys threaten to decide the final outcome of the election—assuming elections—whether they accurately measure the candidates’ real popular standing or simply create a false media bubble about them. PDP candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is considered the presidential frontrunner, appears to illustrate the first, while vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo seems to illustrate the second.


Whatever your feelings are about the deliberately provocative Davao mayor, you have to admit he has generated an impressive following, even among those who, on moral and religious grounds, should canonically be rabidly against him. His recent statements on rape and killing have shocked and outraged many, but his fanatical supporters will threaten you with possible martyrdom if you attack him on those statements.

He provoked worldwide furor by saying “the mayor should have been first” when recalling the gang-rape and murder of an Australian female missionary in Davao in 1989. But he continued to soar in the surveys. This remark attracted various interpretations, mostly protesting about his foul mouth. But one young reader has since suggested that the remark showed, more than anything else, Duterte’s despotic and feudal bent—his subconscious belief in a “right” claimed by feudal lords and monarchs.

Right to be first

This is called Jus Primae Noctis, in Latin; Droit du Seigneu (French); Das Recht der ersten Nacht (German); Derecho de Pernada (Spanish); Il dirrito feudale (Italian); the Law of the First Night (English. This means the right of the feudal landlord to sleep the first night with the bride of any one of his vassals. Ancient kings freely exercised this “right”; the Roman Senate gave Caesar absolute right over all the women.

Duterte, according to this view, was talking not as a sexual or violent pervert but as an absolute lord and master who believed in the law of the first night. How would you like someone like that for your President, my young reader asks.

But the survey respondents appear not to bother one bit.


Now, whether his apparent popularity will translate into an electoral victory is a different matter altogether. This depends on a number of things.

First, can the Comelec still conduct a free, honest and credible election after its voters’ list has been hacked, and shown to have been padded from 54.3 million to 70 million voters?

The Comelec and the conscript media have tried to downplay the biggest hacking incident in our digital age, and then the padding of the list. But can a valid election ever be held on the basis of a questionable voters’ list?

Second, assuming the May 9 elections are held despite the questionable voters’ list, can the Duterte camp outmaneuver all the other players? Everyone is trying to cheat everybody else, can Duterte outcheat all the others?

Third, will Duterte be able to sustain his “popularity edge” to support the actual results? On May 6, he is supposed to stage a mammoth rally at the Rizal Park (Luneta); the plan, according to pro-Duterte sources, is to gather at least a million supporters, who will camp there until election day. Will he be able to do this?

Binay confident

From the UNA camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay and LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas, partisans confidently point out that even the most scientific surveys have not always correctly predicted the election results. In the most celebrated polling disaster in US history, three scientific polls of the day, led by Gallup Polls, predicted that Republican candidate Thomas Dewey would win the 1948 US election against the Democratic incumbent President Harry Truman. Truman woke up on that day, Nov. 3, 1948, to read the Chicago Daily Tribune saying, “Dewey Defeats Truman,” only to win at the end of the day.

In the 2010 vice-presidential race, Binay, as Erap Estrada’s running mate, trailed Roxas, B.S. Aquino 3rd’s teammate, in all the surveys up to the end. But he managed to beat Roxas in the final count. Binay’s supporters are confident the same feat could be repeated against Duterte.

In Cebu, Mayor Mike Rama, Binay’s principal campaigner, admits Duterte’s popularity. But he says he is in charge of Binay’s machinery and cannot see an equivalent machinery for Duterte. In Philippine elections, he points out, voters need to be assisted in going to their voting centers on election day. Throughout the country, Binay has developed a core strength of barangay workers, according to Binay campaigners.

Roxas too

The same optimism is aired by Roxas partisans, who expect their candidate to spring a dramatic surprise on D-day. They are confident that Roxas will ultimately prevail because of his far superior political machinery. They claim that Duterte does not even have watchers in various parts of the country. To them, Binay could prove to be the more formidable final adversary.

Poe on free fall

All rival camps tend to count Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares out, despite her earlier reported popularity. It appears that many voters were turned off by the decision of nine Supreme Court justices to declare her qualified to run for President, despite her constitutional ineligibilities. This has been aggravated by her latest premeditated lie, that her American husband, Teodoro Daniel Misael “Neil” Vera Llamanzares, has renounced his US citizenship to prepare for “life in Malacañang,” where no foreigners can stay.

She said during the last presidential debate in Dagupan, Pangasinan, that he had renounced his US citizenship about a month ago. It turned out that on April 17—a week, not a month, before she said it on April 24, he went to a barangay captain in Greenhills to make it appear that he was renouncing his citizenship. But April 17 was a Sunday, a non-working day, and Neil Llamanzares, whom one Poe supporter calls “Dr. Neil,” mistook the barangay captain for a US consular officer, who is the only one before whom he could renounce his citizenship, under US law.

Sources at the rival camps say Grace Poe Llamanzares is now “on a free fall,” leaving the contest to Binay, Roxas and Duterte. Her political operatives have started “buying” votes in Mindanao, and her biggest financiers are reported to have begun trying to connect to Duterte.

Leni Robredo

Now, even more intriguing is the case of LP vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo. PNoy has gone out openly for her, along with his youngest sister, the nation’s leading product endorser on TV, Kris Aquino. After threatening to lead a “people power” revolt against Sen. Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos, Jr., should he win as VP, PNoy must have realized how absurd and ridiculous his threat was, so he is now trying to do everything to push Leni ahead of Bongbong, who is perceived as the runaway vice-presidential frontrunner, survey or no survey, with or without TV.

Even while the surveys were still humoring Francis Escudero as the alleged frontrunner, people were already talking of Bongbong everywhere, and no one was talking of Escudero. In the last presidential debate, all the presidential and vice-presidential candidates ran ads during the live TV coverage, but not Bongbong Marcos. Yet in the first reported case of cheating in the overseas absentee voting, the victim had to be Bongbong Marcos.

BBM and Leni

This is unfair not only to Bongbong Marcos but, above all, to Leni Robredo. She should reject and distance herself from PNoy’s effort to use her to fight his unfinished fight against the Marcoses, and to salve his conscience for his sins against Leni’s husband, the late former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. Jesse was killed in a private plane crash on Aug. 2012 off the island of Masbate. Suspicions remain that his twin-engine plane was sabotaged, but there was no extensive investigation to pursue any leads to this day.

Upon his death, PNoy heaped all sorts of honors upon the deceased to the point of absurdity, even proclaiming Robredo’s habit of casually wearing slippers (tsinelas), instead of shoes, to work as a virtue to be emulated in the Cabinet and the bureaucracy.

PNoy obviously could not control his remorse for having given Robredo a raw deal when he named him to the Department of Inerior and Local Governments. So he’s trying to do this to Leni.

Raw deal

As secretary of the Interior and Local Governments, Robredo was supposed to have been given charge of the Interior (meaning the national police) and “local governments” (local government units). But the LGUs have long been operating autonomously under the law, so the only thing the DILG secretary is really in charge of is “the police.” Yet PNoy specifically withheld supervision of the police from Robredo, and gave it to his shooting buddy, Undersecretary Rico Puno. This reduced Robredo into a figurehead with no real powers to exercise.

Guilty conscience

Then came the mysterious plane crash. Obviously stung by guilt, Aquino heaped various posthumous honors upon Robredo, and supported his widow’s run for Congress. Jesse was a good man and a very good mayor, but PNoy tried to turn him into something his old friends and neighbors in Naga City could no longer recognize.

Now following the Aquino tradition of necropolitics, PNoy is now trying to make Leni the Vice President by hook or by crook. He is trying to use her in his crusade against the Marcoses, without regard to the truth or to public sensibility. What crime has Leni done to deserve all this? Will she allow herself to be used, and does she have the stomach for it?

She is a good person, with a genuine desire to serve, but she is not much more experienced than the other neophyte Grace Poe Llmanzares, and has not quite gained a world view that includes a clear and correct understanding of such difficult issues as contracepted sex, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.

Like Escudero and Gringo Honasan, she comes from Bulusan, Sorsogon (before she moved to Naga, Camarines Sur). With Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, who also both claim to have some Bicol roots, she is just one of five VP candidates who will be expecting hometown support from their fellow Bicolanos.

Can she stand being put on top of the more popular Bicolano candidates in Bicol—and on top of Bongbong Marcos in other parts of the country, where his name has become a household word, survey or no survey, just because PNoy insists on it?

PNoy will be a lameduck in just a few days. Leni need not soil her good name just to please a failed tyrant.


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  1. the Support of Duterte is in the hands of the masses. Even though he has no political machinery unlike Roxas and Binay who are dying to win the presidency…Duterte only believes to the people……Sawa na ang taong bayan sa mga Desenteng PAngulo……Hypocrito lang pala ang pinapakita nila sa Media……..from their projection they are already deceiving the people…..Duterete has challenge the people by showing his true personality……..hindi siya nagtatago na totoong ugali……kayo kayong mga takot sa kanya………natatakot lang kayo dahil alam ninyong ninyong kayang sa Media criticism…….

  2. Dont fool us Mr. Tatad the way you are fooling yourself, if grace poe is indeed in a free fall then why are you so hot on her for the past so many months? You have been trying so hard to put her down because you want to prop up your candidate binay who is the one on a free fall. Stop your nonsense, we are now being confronted with the threat of communism. And your binay is off by a long shot to win the presidency. You are pathetic

  3. Yes, VP Binay and Mar Roxas can spring a May surprise. Now that Mar has started to challenge and hit Mayor Duterte hard, many voters are beginning to “reconsider” their initial preference for the Mayor who has promised to get rid of all criminals in 3-6 months! He turns out not only to be a “killer” and an “adulterer”, but as of yesterday, a participant in “graft and corruption”. His unexplained wealth of P211 million which he did not report in his 2014 SALN can only originate from bribes and/or misappropriation of government funds. Thanks to Senator Trillanes and his unnamed civic-minded whistle-blowers, the truth about this nut and con man is coming out before the elections.

    VP Binay has also been critical of the Mayor. His offer for the Mayor to get treatment in a Makati hospital free-of-charge is priceless. Unfortunately, the VP is greatly perceived to be a thief and a crook, and this perception may not triumph over his vaunted “machinery”.

    Mar Roxas’ association with Pnoy probably sets him back in the eyes of many voters. But in terms of honesty and incorruptibility he tops the other candidates . So far, he is the only who willingly signed a bank waiver so his accounts can be examined by those interested. The bank waiver that Mayor Duterte initially offered turned out to be bogus and legally invalid.

    Lying Grace is in a free-fall because she is now reputed to be a fraud, a liar, and a Manchurian candidate, especially, after the recent revelation of her husband’s work for the US military, the CIA, and NSA. Allegiance and loyalty questions hound her and will continue to hound her. The VP has attacked her on these points, and Mar should not hesitate to do the same. Just ask any voter: “gusto nyo bang may nakatirang Amerikano sa Malacanang”. I bet you the answer will be “No”!

  4. Im for duterte. Bit if it is proven that he has 2B in his bank account and cant be explained then he is no different than Binay. So the Next logical choice is,, NOT corrupt Binay, NOT Mar of corrupt LP, NOT American POE. And who else but Miriam D Santiago.

  5. The piece of Mr. Tatad leaves no room for confusion or doubt that the ‘decent’ genteel, well-heeled, manicured and saint is a big CHEAT! Perhaps, it is what Filipinos have followed religiously from Roman Catholicism where it led society in the dark ages as feudal families dominated the papacy (Borgias 15th & 16 th centuries). Until today Filipinos are living in the ancient feudal past of the Borgia family where politics may make or undo riches and political careers of people. At the core, the noble and decent are the worse of humans as can be gleaned in the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli in The Prince. The Borgia family is the subject of the study of Machiavelli which produced two (2) popes: Alfons de Borja, who ruled as Pope Callixtus III during 1455–1458, and Rodrigo Lanzol Borgia, as Pope Alexander VI, during 1492–1503. It’s time for the needed change as the Philippines enters the 21st century.

  6. If the trending of the survey maintains the lead of Duterte, then no surprises will happen except in CHEATING. How can they unlock the 61% of Mindanao votes that he garnered and still increasing? Counting also his followers in Visayas and in Luzon particularly the solid North that tandem him with Sen. Bongbong Marcos.

    • Survey is all about the question and the respondents. Survey company can easily come up with the result they want without coercing people by simply phrasing their question properly and picking the right group to answer.

  7. “the secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are as clever as he”

    • ernie del rosario on

      You just insulted 21 million Filipinos. Are you even a true Filipino ? How sad if it is true.

  8. Skimoo Gamut on

    Ako ay isa sa mga Emilio Aguinaldo na sumusuporta kay Duterte.
    Ang ganitong mga akusasyon o black propaganda ay inaasahan at ginagawa ng mga TRAPO tuwing may halalan. Marami tuloy sa ating mga mamayan ang naliligaw sa pagpili kung sino ang dapat na ihalal.
    Ang mga nahalal natin sa nakalipas ng 30 taon ay halos walang nagawa para sa bansa. Kung meron man, isang kamay ang gagawa ng mga proyekto, pagtulong at kung ano ano para lang mapaniwala tayo na sila ay ginagawang mabuti para sa atin. Pero ang isang kamay ang nagbubulsa ng kinita. Hindi lang yun, bulag sila sa mga nangyayaring mga krimen at protektor pa ng mga illegal na droga.
    Para sa kaalaman ng lahat, ang PROBLEMA ng ating bansa ay CORRUPTION, CRIMINALITY, ILLEGAL DRUGS.
    Wag na kayo lumayo pa sa mga isyu..
    Sino ang may kakayanan para labanan ang mga yan? Ikaw? Ako? Sila?
    Sana wag tayo malinlang ng mga black propaganda at mga expose para iligaw tayo sa totoong pagbabago.

  9. jose b. taganahan on

    But poll and newspaper accounts show that it is Binay not Poe who is in a free fall, In fact it appears that Grace Poe is the only one who has a winning chance for the Presidency aside from front runner Duterte. Binay is 4th in the latest survey while Poe is 2nd.

    • ernie del rosario on

      Poeoor second. But it is not a free fall for they are still paying campaign costs despite the fall. The right term maybe is it is an expensive fall.

    • Surveys put out by SWS and others (Pulse Asia) are flawed and unscientific. They should be discounted and discarded as they are just designed to condition, influence and manipulate the voters’ minds. SWS is controlled by Raul Mangahas, a cousin of the late FPJ – the adoptive father of Lying Grace. Haven’t you noticed that Lying Grace often tops the survey? She may drop down a few points now and then, but in the next survey, she is again at the top! No wonder the surveys have been criticized by those in the know. Even I, with just two courses in Statistics, easily determined that the sampling techniques have not been random, and therefore, the results cannot be believed.

  10. Teddy Sevilla on

    Stale news, Mr. Tatad. Developments in the past two days refocuses the presidential race to corruption. Duterte’s campaign has been severely wounded; it remains to be seen if it is fatal. Even if he wins by, what is now obvious, the slightest of margins, his governance will be hounded by scandals.

    As for Binay and BBM, since corruption is now a prime issue, they will suffer a severe backlash. The cloud of defeat hangs heavy over Binay. BBM, well…..I know you are tasked to offer optimism for him.

  11. Who could ever stop Duterte with a ‘corrupt’ rival, a half-baked Filipino, a follower of an inept government and one who claims to be not well? “Angry” voters just want changae NOW!

    • I’m sorry but do you sincerely think that MDS is faking her illness? MDS is very much qualified to be president and walang mababatong putik sa kanya except her sickness. Do you think she’d intentionally fake it when it’s the only thing barring people from voting for her? Miriam has done so much for this country in her decades of service. She could have had a successful career abroad. She could have been resting because she’s sick and yet she chose to run because she wants to serve the rest of her life for the Philippines. So please, don’t mar that with statements that seem to insinuate that she’s faking her sickness.

  12. Many good points here… For starters, Lying Alien is on free fall… Let the contest be among Filipinos.

  13. Well, the biggest slap on beneegno will be Ms. Leni withdrawing from the vice presidential race two days before election day after realizing that she has been “used” by the LP cabal to cover up their murder of Mr. Jess See. I am sure she knows that Bonget does not have any slight feeling of hatred nor animosity against her and they can still be in very good terms after the election. So why damage her reputation when she knows that beneegno is already damaged material. Who knows, Bonget and Leni can even team up together as presidential and vice presidential team come the next presidential election.

  14. Wala sa na mention sa title dahil sure ako na si Grace Poe ang gagawa ng history pagdating sa May 9. Alam ko na siya kasi ang magiging susunod na presidente. Tiwala ako doon.

    • Jose Samilin on

      Totoo naman mark na baka nga si Poe pa ang manalo, wala tayong kasiguraduhan ngayon. Magiging very close fight, Duterte at Poe, at majority voters meron pa rin paninindigan sa sarili sa pagpili kung si Poe nga o Duterte. Sa Education, si Poe, teacher, pumasa ba, hindi. Si Duterte, Bachelor of Law- Abogado. Sa Citizenship, si Poe di mo mawari kung Pilipino o Kano. Si Duterte, Pilipno. Sa Judiciary experience, si Poe, wala. Si Duterte, Naging Fiscal at Prosecutor. Sa Legislative experience naman, Si Poe ay baguhan sa pagka senador. Si Duterte, naging Congressman. Sa chief executive exprience, si Poe, wala. Si Duterte, Mahigit 20 yrs, Mayor sa Davao City. Sa Presidential theme, si Poe, ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan ni Fernando Poe Jr. as Panday. Si Duterte, Labananan ang droga, kriminalidad at korapsayon. Finally, sa campaign Donors, si Poe, Danding Cojuangco. Si Duterte, mga tao. Sinu ngayon ang karapatdapat sa kanilang dalawa, Ako ay si Duterte na, Ewan ko saiyo mark, nasa iyo iyan.

  15. Perhaps this is the real revolution that Bono Adaza is waiting for. A bloody revolution. Once the criminals are neutralized, maybe the abusive oligarchs and rich will wonder and fear who will be next.

  16. sa ka haba haba ng sinulat mo isa lang yung nag stand out saken. “mar is confident biggest machinery” tang ina mo mar confident ka dahil nasa likod mo si abnoy pnoy? wag ka man daya kung ano man yang binabalak mo. . kundi mag rerebolusyon ang pilipinas. Duterte ang pinili ng bayan kaya respetohin mo!