Ignore the surveys? 1Sambayan needs its feet back on the ground

In case of emergency, break the glass and press the lever to squeeze out a steady stream of lies to put out the fire of reality.

This must be what the convenors of 1Sambayan have on their cue card as they struggle to remain relevant in the fast approaching (yes, fast because it’s less than 10 months away) national and local elections. The period for filing of certificates of candidacy for the thousands of positions to be contested on May 9, 2022 has been set on October 1 to 9, which is just two months away. In a game of chess, this is “panic time” with 1Sambayan having less than a minute on its clock, with the Duterte administration enjoying a superior position and plenty of time left.

“Ignore the surveys,” said Renato Magtubo, one of 1Sambayan’s leaders declared on Friday, July 23.


Magtubo is trying to comfort politicians 1Sambayan is trying to lure into its camp and fill up the list of candidates for president, vice president and senators. Apparently, the latest survey results published by Pulse Asia has scared off the politicians they have been trying to bring board. With Sara Duterte enjoying a formidable lead despite not showing an interest in running, any political analyst will conclude that it’s an uphill journey for the dilawan-led opposition. That Senator Ping Lacson had jumped the gun on everybody doesn’t help their cause at all.

It is an exercise in self-delusion. 1Sambayan is stuck up with Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The body language of Robredo tells me she’s backing out of the race. Only Trillanes remains enthusiastic about being the standard bearer of 1Sambayan. Well, Trillanes is another fool believing his own “Magdalo surveys” that he claims puts him on the trajectory to victory.

Covid 19, Sara Duterte and running an LGU

With Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio almost a runaway winner for next year’s presidential elections at 28% in the latest Pulse Asia Research survey, it isn’t surprising at all that all guns are now being trained on her in a desperate bid to shoot down her possible candidacy.

Since three weeks ago, Mayor Inday has been visiting various parts of the country meeting with local leaders, and it didn’t take long before the purpose of her cross-country trips was to solicit feedback to help her decide on whether to heed the clamor or not.

Until her visit to Cebu City last July 9, Mayor Inday has been coy about the possibility of running for President. Her father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, has expressed opposition to the idea, saying the Presidency isn’t for women, and he didn’t want to see his daughter suffer the insufferable insults and criticism that comes with the job description.

At the start of the year, when her name was on top of a Pulse Asia survey, Mayor Inday declared she had no intention to run and asked poll survey companies to remove her name from the list of probables shown to respondents.

It isn’t known if this request was heeded by the survey firms. But just the same, these survey outfits allow respondents to list down names of their preferences if he or she does not appear in their list.

Her name simply can’t stay off the lists of probables, and neither did it change in her topmost ranking. She emerged number one in the Pulse Asia survey for the first quarter of 2021 released last April. After a lapse of three months, Mayor Inday’s position stood in that same number one position.

Apparently, the clamor had reached a crescendo, making it difficult for her to ignore it. About three weeks ago, pictures of her visiting the family of San Pedro City vice mayor Art Mercado circulated on Facebook. Her trips were quite low-profile, with indications of where she had gone to visit only coming out in social media posts.

It was in Cebu City when Mayor Inday finally faced the media and admitted that she was “open” to the possibility of running for President and succeed her father.

Understandably, that drove the opposition nuts. When a possible presidential candidate could attract such strong support without even declaring her intention speaks volumes about where it would ultimately bring her — a landslide victory. It would be safe to assume that in the next survey cycle, her lead in the polls will get a tremendous boost, and her numbers could only go up more.

Hence, it’s not surprising to see a barrage of criticism levelled against her for supposedly going away for these consultation trips while her city is confronted by the Covid 19 threat. Without a doubt, her consultation visits are now seen as a real threat to their own political ambitions. Sara’s increased visibility in other parts of the country can only result in attracting wider support, and cause their own plans to evaporate into thin air.

The answer to these criticisms is a no brainer. As local chief executive, Mayor Inday can run the City of Davao as effectively if she were in the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo as she could from City Hall. In case these critics are still ignorant about technology (which is, of course, not true) a chief executive remains in charge of the LGU without having to stay in the city hall physically. With Zoom, virtual face-to-face meetings are now ordinary activities. Constituents can bring their complaints and appeals for help through Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram.

In short, it makes no difference anymore whether Mayor Inday stays in Davao 24/7 physically or not. She can make her presence virtually felt 24/7 through social media. And decisions can be made as quickly on virtual platforms as when she is inside the Mayor’s office.

And, Mayor Inday can delegate the day-to-day management of City Hall to her Vice Mayor. She said she has filed leaves of absences for the periods covering her trips. From the purview of the Local Government Code, she is not doing anything wrong.

If her absence from Davao on these short trips might look detrimental to the welfare of her constituents, the complaints should come from them, and not from politicians who are getting jittery about Mayor Inday growing stronger by the day.

Robredo is living in fool’s paradise

With the consistency in Vice President Leni Robredo getting low ratings in poll survey after poll survey for a straight five years now, it becomes comedy to hear her spokesman exclaim that she is still fine with it and describe it as “respectable”.

There’s less than 10 months to go before election day, and the latest Pulse Asia Research survey for presidential probables had put Robredo at a distant sixth placce — her usual place, actually — with only 6% share in voter preference.

One doesn’t need to be a political scientist to know that from any angle, that rating is poor for an incumbent Vice President, and shows that any ambition to run for the highest elective position in the Republic is foolish. Only a feeble mind will give it the slightest shade of hopeful, much less feasible.

But Atty. Barry Gutierrez claims his boss is unfazed. “Decent” and “respectable” were the words he used to describe her survey standing. “VP Leni’s numbers are respectable considering that she has been focused on working on COVID-19 response initiatives and has paid no attention to the frantic positioning for 2022 at all,” he said.

Gutierrez added that the other probables have been busy promoting themselves while Robredo was just too focused on helping fight the Covid 19 pandemic. If Robredo does decide to run, Gutierrez expressed optimism her numbers will pick up and make her a strong contender in the presidential race.

Well, Robredo is living in fool’s paradise.

The writing on the wall, so to speak, has been there for quite a long time. And for Gutierrez to say that Robredo had avoided “posturing” to promote herself is outright hilarious. Everybody knows how Robredo had used every possible opportunity at “hard selling” and present herself as the better alternative to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Robredo and her PR handlers still can’t understand all their publicity stunts were a waste of effort. The more they tried to sell Robredo, the more the Filipino voters became convinced she’s the last person they should consider to become President.

In case Gutierrez had been sleeping all along, the front-runner, Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte, hadn’t even once showed interest in running until only last week. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno had actively run an aggressive social media campaign, but I think it’s more to project his performance as Local Chief Executive as a preparation for the 2028 presidential elections. Former Senator Bongbong Marcos has stayed in the shadows during the last five years. Pacquiao, for his part, basked in his popularity without having to exert any effort.

If there is anybody who had been “posturing” as a presidential timber, it was no other than Robredo.

Hence, the consistency in Robredo getting poor ratings make it very clear Robredo has no chance of winning. It would be good for her mental health to accept reality and move on to other political plans.

Duterte-Duterte tandem looms large in the horizon

The Pulse Asia report showing that the Duterte-Duterte tandem got the highest ratings in its latest poll survey only validates what most Filipinos have known for a long time now.

We want continuity. We want the same brand of governance. We don’t want to see the gains made during the last five years derailed.

And we definitely want Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte to stay at the helm — as second-in-command — to give better stability as our ship continues to sail in turbulent waters in the immediate future.

In an interview with ANC’s Christian Esguerra last week, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio scoffed at what he called “The Davao Model” of governance.

In his mind, what the Dutertes have accomplished in Davao is not acceptable to the Filipino people. Father and daughter have run Davao City as mayor-vice mayor and vice versa to make it a model LGU during the last three decades.

How poorly can this senile justice perceive what the Filipino people want.In the first place, it was Mayor Digong’s accomplishments in fighting illegal drugs and criminality in Davao City that propelled him to the Presidency.

When he ran in 2016, Mayor Digong had little national exposure compared to Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Jojo Binay and the late Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Mar Roxas not only hogged the national headlines for more than a decade as Cabinet secretary and congressman and Senator. He also had a bottomless-campaign kitty from government funds, boosted by the loot of the Liberal Party from DAP.

But thanks to social media, Mayor Digong compensated for his lack of media exposure and captured the hearts and minds of the Filipino people with his iron-fisted approach to governance.

The issues hurled against him became pebbles from a slingshot hitting Kevlar armor with double ceramic plates. Human rights violations? Filipinos cared more about the safety of their families than the wasted lives of addicts. Everybody understood that the war against drugs is necessarily violent. It’s either lawmen kill drug pushers, or the other way around.

In Iloilo City during the years 2010 to 2016, a number of law enforcers were murdered in broad daylight, and the Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon didn’t think it was bothersome. Not once did Drilon complain that illegal drugs was turning Iloilo City into a narco-LGU! Well, he liked to pose for pictures with the wife of a drug lord!

The accomplishments of Mayor Digong in his first five years are much too plain to go unnoticed. Well, I guess only dilawans and pulahans pretend they don’t exist. In their mind, the Philippines is badly mangled from what they describe as incompetence in the Duterte administration. That perception is being fueled by the mainstream media.

But the dilawan/pulahan/oligarchy campaign of disinformation was consistently demolished by a vigilant citizenry who have locked arms through Facebook and Twitter to defend Mayor Digong and his government.

There is still much work to be done, especially in the area of corruption. Drilon is still unscathed; not a single case has yet reached the Sandiganbayan.

And the same is true with his cohorts in the Liberal Party.

Filipinos want Mayor Digong to finish what he has started. As Vice President, he will wield tremendous power and influence working with his daughter as President and Commander in Chief. It will be as if we will have two Presidents working in tandem.

Duterte continues to enjoy people’s trust

Pulse Asia disclosed just today that President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys the full trust of 87% of the Filipino people.

Pulse Asia survey June 2018

The survey was conducted during the period June 15-21, 2018.

VP Leni Robredo’s trust rating was a far 56%.

Here’s the full report of Pulse Asia (just click on the link below).


Is Binay making a break-away?

Two national newspapers, The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, reported on a Pulse Asia presidential survey conducted on December 4-11, 2015 showing that Vice President Jojo Binay has regained the lead among the contenders to become the next President of the Republic.

The survey was done nationwide with 1,800 respondents. It showed that if elections were held during the survey period, Binay would get 33% of the people’s vote.

Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe were statistically tied at second place, with Duterte getting 23% and Poe, 21%.

The administration’s candidate, Mar Roxas, was fourth with 17%. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago rounded up the field with 4% of the projected vote.

This survey result validates my blog post last week that Binay has hit rock bottom while Roxas has hit the ceiling. Binay can’t possibly sink lower than the 31% he previously obtained while Roxas would have a hard time rising above 15%. The 2% improvement he achieved isn’t going to make a difference as the race is about to formally start on February 9, 2016.

This makes the efforts of the administration to eliminate the leading contenders through disqualification futile. Even if Poe and Duterte are disqualified, Binay would remain in the race because he cannot be charged formally before the Sandiganbayan on account of his immunity from suit. This means the idea of dislodging Binay by locking him up in jail before the elections is wishful thinking.

Roxas cannot hope to attract the Poe and Duterte votes if and when these two are eliminated from the presidential derby. A minimum of 80% of the Poe and Duterte votes will shift to Binay. What we’re seeing is a national expression of disapproval for Roxas, and there’s no way it would change in the home stretch.

This is the fundamental mistake in the political strategy of the administration. Roxas could not win by destroying his rivals before the court of public opinion and through legal means. The Liberal Party was overpowered by its own arrogance and believing its own propaganda that the “matuwid na daan” was making people happy.

The only way for Roxas to win under the circumstances is change the rules to “pirdi-gana”, a term used in the Filipino game of “dama” where the losing side in the end will emerge as winner.

The way things are going, the PCOS would not even be able to salvage a victory for him, because when the lead is so big, cheating would only spark violence and unrest for the nation.

But of course we can never underestimate Roxas and the Liberal Party: They might sacrifice the nation for their own personal ambition and survival.

If Mar Roxas wants to be President, he must rebuild his bailiwick

If Mar Roxas wants to be President, he must rebuild his bailiwick

Supporters of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas are excited, and nervous, about his prospects in the 2016 presidential derby. But as the most recent Pulse Asia poll survey showed, he trails front-runner VP Jojo Binay by a mile, and the race is going into the final bend. He is running out of time. If he is serious, and questions are being raised about it in the first place, he must take a second look at his own bailiwick: the Western Visayas region.

Can Mar Roxas bounce back after Pulse Asia survey?

Can Mar Roxas bounce back after Pulse Asia survey?

The most recent Pulse Asia survey was disheartening for supporters of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. Despite the immense resources placed at his disposal by the Aquino government, including opportunities to hog the political centerstage, Roxas managed to land in number five spot with just 6%. On the other hand, his nemesis, Vice President Jojo Binay, has taken undisputed number one with 40%. What is the problem?

In my column, “Coffeebreak”, I dissected the problem and came up with the conclusion that how both aspirants “connect” with the people spell the difference between victory and defeat. If we compare them in telecommunications language, Binay is LTE/4G while Roxas is an antiquated dial-up internet connection.