BY ROGER M. BALANZA
As Rodrigo Duterte landed on top of two recent nationwide surveys, his rivals are unfazed hoping their party machineries would push their numbers up in coming surveys.
For the first time, Duterte captured the lead in the latest surveys by Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.
Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said their local political machineries were expected to snag for them high ratings in the next surveys for presidential preference in the May election.
Erstwhile front-runner independent candidate Senator Grace Poe, dislodged for the first time from the top slot by Duterte. vowed to work harder to regain her lead in previous surveys.
Roxas, fourth in the latest surveys, said the Liberal Party local campaign had just started to explain his low rating.
All barangay chairmen and councilors, congressmen and mayors support Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) governance, said Roxas.
Daang Matuwid is the flagship program of the administration of outgoing President Benigno Aquino. Critics jokingly tag Daang Matuwid as Tuwad na Daan (Crooked Path) and the symbol of incompetence of the Aquino administration. Critics also say that Roxas’ vow to continue the program if elected President is driving away public confidence.
Binay, at third spot in the latest surveys, said that at the homestretch of the race, the contest would be between him and Roxas because of their large political machinery.
“I remain confident that in the end we will prevail,” said Binay.
Binay said only rhe UNA and LP have political machineries working on the ground.
Duterte’s Partido Demokratik Pilipino/Laban (PDP/Laban) is considered a minority party, but strong public support is pushing up the Davao City mayor’s bid.
Duterte’s camp welcomed the results of the surveys.
“We are humbled by the results of the recent surveys that placed Mayor Rody Duterte in the lead in voter preference,” Leoncio Evasco Jr., national campaign manager of Duterte.
“We welcome this with guarded optimism, as we are fully aware that the battle is not yet over,” said Evasco, who is also the incumbent mayor of Maribojoc town in Bohol.
Evasco said the mayor’s camp would continue to build on the momentum and aim for “a complete, decisive and indisputable victory.”