UniTeam presidential candidate former senator Bongbong Marcos and running mate Sara Duterte (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte remained as the most preferred presidential and vice presidential candidates in the upcoming May 9 elections based on the latest Pulse Asia Survey

According to its “Ulat ng Bayan” national survey conducted from March 17 to 21, Pulse Asia Research Inc. said 56 percent of the qualified Filipino voters would elect Marcos as president if the elections took place during the survey period.

“The ex-lawmaker’s presidential bid is supported by near to sizeable majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (48 percent to 64 percent and 52 percent to 56 percent, respectively),” the Pulse Asia said.

Marcos’ voter preference, however, dropped by 4 percent while closest rival Vice President Leni Robredo got 24 percent or an improvement of 9 percent from February survey.

"The other presidential contenders register voter preferences of at most 8 percent. Additionally, 1 percent of likely voters are still undecided about whom to vote for as president, another 1 percent are not supporting any candidate for the post, and 0.5 percent refused to identify their preferred presidential bet," according to Pulse Asia.

"If their original choice for president does not pursue his/her candidacy for whatever reason, 23 percent of likely voters would instead vote for Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso," it added.

Domagoso ranked third at 8 percent, followed by Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, 6 percent; Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson at 2 percent; Faisal Mangondato at 1 percent; former Palace spokesperson Ernesto "Ernie" Abella at 0.1 percent; Jose Montemayor Jr. at 0.05 percent; Leodegario "Leody" De Guzman at 0.02 percent; and former Defense chief Norberto Gonzales at 0 percent.

Meanwhile, Duterte also continued to enjoy a big lead with 56 percent as the presidential daughter’s voter preference increased by 3 percent from February’s survey.

The Pulse Asia said Duterte is also the favored vice-presidential candidate of big pluralities to overwhelming majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes with 44 percent to 83 percent and 55 percent to 63 percent, respectively.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III is in the second spot 20 percent followed by Robredo’s tandem Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, 15 percent; Dr. Willie Ong, 5 percent; Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose "Lito" Atienza Jr., 1 percent; Manny Lopez, 0.3 percent; former Akbayan Party-list representative Walden Bello, 0.1 percent; Carlos Serapio, 0.01 percent; and Rizalito David, 0.01 percent.

In the senatorial race, broadcaster Raffy Tulfo and former senator Loren Legarda continued to lead based on the same survey with 65.6 and 58.3 percent voter preferences, respectively.

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is in the third spot with 56.4 percent followed by former senator Chiz Escudero (54.4 percent), former public works Secretary Mark Villar (52.4 percent), senator Sherwin Gatchalian (50.3 percent), and senator Migz Zubiri (50.1 percent).

Completing the top 12 are Joel Villanueva (43.9 percent), actor Robin Padilla (42.5 percent), former Vice President Jojo Binay (42.5 percent), Jinggoy Estrada (36.5 percent), and JV Ejercito (35.9 percent).

The Marcos’ camp said there is still no reason for them to be complacent despite the “overwhelming support of the people.”

“Although 32 days remain before the national and local elections, we entreat our supporters, volunteers and campaigners to refrain from complacency and remain focus in achieving our common target of 70 percent presidential preference mark,” Marcos’ spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez said in a statement.

Rodriguez said Marcos shall not rest “until the 70 percent preference survey polls position is attained.”

“We acknowledge the overwhelming support of the people as the Pulse Asia survey results clearly show, but the challenge to make history shall remain kindled until election day, and even beyond,” he said.

“We shall not rest until the 70 percent preference survey polls position is attained, until every vote is counted and the aspirations of the Filipino people become a reality,” he added. (PNA)