IN THE HUNT. Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso campaigns in Cebu City on Friday (April 8, 2022). In an interview Saturday, he said he believes the “silent majority” will catapult him to the presidency. (Photo courtesy of IM Media)

MANILA – Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is banking on the votes of the “silent majority”, whom he said will spell the difference in the May 9 polls.

In an interview with reporters during his campaign sortie in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Saturday, Domagoso expressed optimism that the lower middle class, as well as the urban and rural poor, will carry him to victory.

He believes that the “silent majority” just goes with the flow because of the tension among political parties but will eventually vote for their personal preference come election day.

"Sa sobrang away nila, natatakot na 'yung tao baka mawalan siya ng trabaho, baka hindi siya mabilhan sa tindahan niya o baka awayin siya ng kapitbahay niya, mawalan siya ng kaibigan, ina-unfriend siya, mapagsalitaan siya ng masakit kaya tumatahimik na lang. Feeling ko ire-reserve nila 'yung boto nila sa takdang panahon (Many people are just afraid because of the quarrel among supporters, or maybe because they might lose their jobs, or nobody will buy from their store anymore, or a neighbor might confront them and tell them hurtful words so they just keep quiet. I have a feeling that they will reserve their votes for election day),” the first-term Manila mayor said.

While going around the country, Domagoso said he met thousands who told him the name of their preferred candidate -- different from the survey leaders.

He added that political oligarchs have been actively influencing voters by giving them money or through direct “buying of people” in exchange for support for certain candidates.

"Napaka-fluid ngayon. 'Yung malalaking pulitiko, 'yung mga political oligarch will continue to buy people. Hindi na siya bago (Everything is very fluid. The big politicians, the political oligarchs will continue to buy people. This is not new). Don't be naive. We know it's happening," he said.

The results of the March 30 to April 6 PUBLiCUS survey released on Friday showed that UniTeam’s Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte kept their wide lead over their rivals.

Marcos paced the presidential race with 56 percent of votes from 1,500 respondents of the PAHAYAG 2022 First Quarter Survey.

Vice President Leni Robredo came in second with 23 percent while Domagoso got just 9 percent.

Five percent said they were still undecided about their presidential vote.

Duterte had a vote share of 58 percent, followed by Senator Francis Pangilinan with 15 percent, Senate President Vicente Sotto with 11 percent, and Domagoso running mate, Dr. Willie Ong, with 9 percent. (PNA)