Duterte allies lead survey of top candidates for senatorial elections

President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara is one of the front-runners in a survey of top candidates for the senatorial elections. Photo via ABS-CBN.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies are leading a survey of the top candidates for the 2019 senatorial elections.

The survey, conducted by Pulse Asia Research Inc., was released today and shows his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio as one of the front-runners, ranking at 3 — 5 and with 46.2 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for her.

The survey was conducted on June 15 — 21 via face-to-face interviews with a pool of 1,800 respondents aged 18 years old and above.

There will be 12 senatorial seats that will be filled up in the 2019 elections. Candidates who will be elected in 2019 will serve up to June 30, 2025.

Emerging at first place is Senator Grace Poe, a former candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, with a voter preference rate of 67.4 percent.

Following her is another senator, Pia Cayetano, whose brother Alan Peter was Duterte’s vice presidential running mate and now serves as the foreign affairs secretary. 55.7 percent of the respondents would vote for her if the elections were held during the survey period.

Another notable inclusion in the list is Duterte ally Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the former Philippine National Police chief who is now serving as the director general of the Bureau of Corrections.

Dela Rosa, who also served as the Davao City police chief back when Duterte was the town’s mayor, ranked at 5 — 12. 37.7 percent of the respondents said they would vote for him.

The only opposition senator who was said to have a high chance of winning is Senator Bam Aquino, who ranked in the 10 — 16 places. 32.1 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Aquino.

Interestingly, former presidential candidate Manuel Roxas was ranked at 14—21 places. Roxas, who now leads a private life, came in second to Duterte at the 2016 presidential elections. 27.1 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Roxas.

Other notable names mentioned in the list were actor and former senator Lito Lapid, who ranked 6 — 13 with 36.2 of the respondents reporting they would vote for him; Ilocos Norte governor and former presidential daughter Imee Marcos, who was ranked 13 — 20 and had a voter preference rate of 29.9 percent; Duterte ally and actor Robin Padilla, ranked 13 — 20 with a voter preference of 28.2 percent; and broadcaster and Duterte loyalist Ramon Tulfo, ranked 14 — 21 with a voter preference of 27.1 percent.

Some of the events that dominated the news during this time period were the ousting of former Supreme Court chief justice Lourdes Sereno, President Duterte’s reiteration of his stance not to engage China in any form of military conflict, and the government’s statement that suspending the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will lead to the suspension of the delivery of basic services to Filipinos.

Most of the respondents (55 percent) said they already have a complete slate for the midterm senatorial elections of 2019.

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