Senator Cynthia Villar, who is seeking re-election, is now at the top spot in Pulse Asia’s latest election survey released today.
She shares the ranking with her colleague Senator Grace Poe, who has consistently been number one in previous surveys. Both women landed the 1-2 spot, which means they’re highly likely to be re-elected in the mid-term elections on May 13.
This marks an improvement for Villar, ranked as the Philippines’ richest senator, who in the March survey just ranked second place. Villar has been senator since 2013. She is the wife of former senator and billionaire Manny Villar.
Poe, on the other hand, ran against President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections and has been senator since 2013. She is the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr., a much-loved actor-director who ran for president against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004.
Trailing the two female politicians in the survey are former senator and actor Lito Lapid (3-4), Senator Pia Cayetano (3-6), Duterte’s former special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go (4-8), and Senator Sonny Angara (4-9).
A few controversial personalities also ranked well and are likely to win in the elections, which is just 13 days away.
This includes former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla (5-9) and Jinggoy Estrada (10-14), who were both embroiled in the pork barrel controversy in 2013. Revilla was acquitted of plunder in December while Estrada is currently out on bail for plunder and graft.
Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, who once led Duterte’s bloody drug war, is ranked 5-9. The daughter of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, is at 10-14.
Marcos has been the subject of numerous controversies since she started campaigning, such as her insistence that she graduated from Princeton University, even if the school said that she didn’t.
Dropping out of the magic 12 is former Senator Mar Roxas, who also ran for president against Duterte in 2016. He was at 11-17 place in Pulse Asia’s March poll but dropped to 14-17 in this month’s survey.
The survey’s results were based on one-on-one interviews with 1,800 adults based in Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The interviews were conducted on April 10 to 14. Pulse Asia said a few events may have influenced the survey’s outcome, such as the killings of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental, the discovery of floating cocaine bricks in different parts of the country, and the Supreme Court’s order to the Office of the Solicitor General to release all drug war-related reports to human rights groups.