Surveys say it’s game over for Leni; Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is the 17th Philippine President on June 30, 2022

By Antonio S. Lopez

It’s game over for Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s presidential candidacy. All the major polls indicate former Senator Ferdinand Romualdez “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will win the presidency on May 9, 2022, hands down, by wide margins of anywhere, from 20 million to 26 million votes. Marcos ran on a platform to unify the country. 

Robredo’s battle cry was to fight the Marcoses and prevent them from regaining presidential power. The call gained little, if any, traction and her poll ratings stagnated in the 20s or below, during the campaign period, from October 2021 to April this year.

The April 2-6 survey of OCTA Research showed Marcos Jr. winning, 57% vs. Robredo’s 22%, a distance of 21 million votes in the Unity Team’s standard bearer’s favor. 

The Laylo Research poll of April 14-20 shows a markedly dramatic victory for Marcos—64% against Robredo’s 21%, a difference of 43 points equivalent to 25.8 million votes.

A reliable pollster, Laylo polled 3,000 respondents in 80 provinces, 38 highly urbanized cities, 294 towns, and 600 barangays.  Margin of error is plus or minus 2%.

In Publicus Asia poll of April 19-21, Marcos was steady at 57% against Robredo’s 21%, with BBM ahead by 21.5 million votes.

In the Manila Bulletin-Tangere April 20-22 survey, Marcos enjoyed a 51.54% share of the vote.  Robredo was a dismal third, with 18.25%. BBM is ahead by 33.29 points equivalent to 20 million votes. 

In Tangere, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno scored an upset with a 20.38% second place standing to BBM.

Averaging these four April 2022 surveys (OCTA, Laylo, Publicus and Tangere) shows BBM with a commanding 57.38% share of the vote, nearly a three-to-one advantage over Robredo’s 20.56%.

A 57.38% voting preference translates into 34.42 million votes for Marcos.  A 20.56% cut indicates Leni will garner 12.33 million votes—a huge 22-million-vote deficit to BBM’s 34.42 million votes.

A redemption

If Marcos Jr. wins on May 9, he will have staged the most stunning comeback in Philippine political history. 

Bongbong is the only son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., who ruled with an iron will from Dec. 30, 1965 to Feb. 25, 1986. 

Marcos Sr. won reelection three times by wide margins

Derided as a dictator, Marcos Sr. won reelection three times – in 1969, with 62% of the vote; in 1981, with 80% of the vote; and in the snap election of February 1986 against Corazon Cojuangco Aquino,  the widow of his slain arch rival Benigno S. Aquino Jr., with 53.62% of the vote.  Marcos got 10.8 million votes to Cory Aquino’s 9.29 million (46.10%), in the official Comelec count, clearly a winner.  But the ailing strongman was ousted by a coup d’ etat engineered by a rebellious military faction backed by the US CIA, the Catholic Church, and anti-Marcos Big Business, in what is now called People Power.

“Marcos’ first term, from 1965 to 1969, had been relatively successful, marked by industrialization, infrastructure development, and an increase in rice production,” reported Wikipedia.

Ill-gotten wealth issue

Marcos’s political opponents claimed he stole between $5 billion and $10 million and violated human rights large-scale during 14 years of martial law in his 20-year presidency.

Cory and subsequent governments after her disastrous presidency of six years and four months failed to prove nor locate much of the so-called ill-gotten wealth.

The bulk or less than half of the alleged $10-billion wealth cache, or $4 billion turned out to be investments in large Philippines companies that prospered after 1986.  Included in the $4 billion is the P84 billion ($1.68 billion) common shares representing 31% of beer and brewery conglomerate San Miguel Corp.. The shares were later converted by the government into preferred shares which SMC’s controlling stockholder, the late Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., redeemed after three years, paying cash to the government. 

Claimed to be a Marcos crony, Cojuangco had said he was never a crony and he brought out no money to stash abroad.  The P84 billion has grown to over P100 billion as a trust fund to develop the local coconut industry.

Marcos Jr.’s impending victory will in effect be a tremendous redemption of a political dynasty much hated by the entrenched business elite.

“The late Mr. Marcos is revered as a visionary leader, his wife a style icon. Many believe the allegations against them were made up by jealous enemies, and view the family’s return to power as their moral exoneration,” reported the Wall Street Journal on April 14, 2022.