Mayor Duterte got 34% Approval Rating for Philippine Presidential race in 2016

NullDavao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Pic: AP

Southern Philippines Mayor Duterte emerges as presidential prospect

If the presidential elections were to be held solely in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, Davao City’s Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would be the runaway winner.

According to the Pulse Asia survey, Duterte will win 34 percent of the Mindanao votes with Vice President Binay coming in second with 22 percent if the elections were held today.

Estrada, who previously lorded the Mindanao votes, was down to 18 percent while Grace Poe has 11.

The Asia Pulse survey was conducted on March 1-7.

Duterte has also inched up in the nationwide presidential survey with 12 percent, good enough for 3rd and 4th – tied with Estrada. That is just after less than 2 months of low-profile exposure using federalism as platform.

It is the first time Duterte figured prominently in a major survey.

Binay’s lead has improved from 26 percent in November 2014– 29 percent.

Poe is 2nd in voting preference with 14 percent.

This is a significant leap for Duterte who only in December was not even in the list of possible presidential candidates for 2016.

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The Davao City mayor, who will turn 70 on March 28, however, is lagging far behind in the National Capital Region and the rest of Luzon, with only 7 and 4 percent voting preference respectively.

He was likewise only a distant 4th in Visayas with 9 per cent voter preference.

Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines.

Nobody from Mindanao has ever made it to MalacaƱang.

The closest was the late Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez who hailed from Misamis Oriental. Pelaez was VP to Ferdinand Marcos from 1961 to 1965.

Duterte is neck and neck with Binay over voter preference among the ABC class, but Binay continues to maintain his grip among D and E voters.

The vice president is likewise still leading the pack in NCR, Luzon and Visayas.

Maverick

Duterte is seen as a political maverick although he is officially a member of the PDP-Laban, a Mindanao-grown political party that is also the former political party of Binay.

The controversial Davao City mayor has been courted by all previous post-Cory Aquino Philippine presidents either as a cabinet member or part of the administration’s senatorial slate. The pistol-packing Duterte however politely declined all overtures saying he is not cut for a national position. Last year, he even threatened to shoot those who are egging him to run for president.

He once berated the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for spiriting out from the hospital an American who was injured in a bomb blast inside his rented hotel room in Davao City.

At the height of national indignation over the execution of Filipina overseas contract worker Flor Contemplacion, he led protesters in Davao City by burning the Singaporean flag.

Duterte likewise threatened to declare a revolutionary government if only to solve corruption in the country.

Listening tour

Early this year, he was prevailed to soften his stand against running for the presidency.

He used federalism as a platform for a nationwide listening tour which he started only this year.

He has been invited in Bicol, Pangasinan, Baguio, Manila, Iloilo and Leyte where he was mobbed by supporters and the media.

While he has not officially declared his intention to seek the presidency, a source said a survey that will land him no lower that fourth and in double digit approval will change his mind.

Mindanaoan in the senate

Meanwhile, at least three other Mindanaoans are prominently figuring in the same Pulse Asia survey.

Former Senator Miguel Zubiri of Bukidnon is ranked 7th in the survey while Pacquiao and incumbent Senator Teofisto Guingona III are battling it out for the 11-17th place.

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Guingona is also from Bukidnon while Pacquiao, who is now in the US training for his May 2 fight, is a member of the House of Representative representing the lone district of Sarangani.

Pacquiao is expected to throw his hat into the 2016 senatorial race. - Asian Correspondent

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