Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte still emerged as the top pick among the preferred presidential candidates in the 2022 elections, according to the latest pre-election survey conducted by private polling firm Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia’s Sept. 6 to 11 poll found that 20 percent of 2,400 adult Filipinos have expressed support for Sara’s potential presidential bid.

The Presidential daughter earned the highest support from respondents in her bailiwick, Mindanao (47 percent), followed by the Visayas (23 percent), Metro Manila (12 percent), and Balance Luzon (8 percent).

She also got a high voter preference in Classes ABC (16 percent), D (20 percent), and E (25 percent).

Other preferred candidates for the 2022 presidential race were former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (15 percent), Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (13 percent), and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (12 percent).

Following Pacquiao were Senator Grace Poe (9 percent), Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo (8 percent), Senator Panfilo Lacson (6 percent), and Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (4 percent).

Other personalities with “lowest levels of support” were Senator Christopher Lawrence Go (3 percent), former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (1 percent), and former Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello and former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (0.1 percent each).

Second choice

Prior to the filing of certificate of candidacy for all elective posts for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections from Oct. 1 to 8, Pacquiao and Moreno announced their intent to run for president.

Sara, on the other hand, has said she is not eyeing the presidency as she seeks reelection as Davao City mayor.

Should their original presidential bet decide not to seek the presidency, their second choice were Poe and Marcos (14 percent each), Domagoso (13 percent), and Sara (11 percent).

Sharing second place in terms of second-choice voter preference were Go and Pacquiao (9 percent each), Robredo and Lacson (8 percent each), and Cayetano (5 percent).

Trillanes, Teodoro, and Bello received the lowest figures, Pulse Asia noted.

Vice presidential bet

Meantime, the results of the same survey revealed that Senate President Vicente Sotto III is the top choice for the 2022 vice presidential derby.

Twenty-five percent of the respondents told Pulse Asia that Sotto is their preference vice presidential candidate.

Next to Sotto were President Rodrigo Duterte (14 percent), Domagoso and Marcos (12 percent each), and Pacquiao and Go (7 percent each).

Other personalities picked as the respondents’ preferred vice presidential bets were Cayetano (6 percent), television host Willie Revillame (4 percent), and Trillanes, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar (2 percent each).

Also included in the list of preferred vice presidential candidates were human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno (1 percent), and Teodoro (0.5 percent).

Pulse Asia used ±2 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

'Stable leadership'

Sara, through her spokesperson Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco, thanked her supporters for continuously believing in her capacity to lead the country.

“The latest Pulse Asia Survey reflects the people’s desire for stable leadership in these uncertain times," said Frasco in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency.

"Owing to her stellar track record of performance as Mayor of Davao, and her courage and credibility as a leader who puts the people’s needs first, the people see in Mayor Sara the President that we need and the President that we can trust,” she added.

Frasco said the presidential daughter continues to listen to the pulse of the Filipino people.

“She shares the desire of our countrymen to rise above adversity towards the development of our country,” she added.

When asked if the latest survey could change Duterte’s mind and make her vie for the presidency next year, Frasco said “a lot of people are hoping”.(with reports from Che Palicte/PNA)