Duterte extends lead in latest ABS-CBN survey

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte continued to surge ahead in a pre-presidential election survey conducted days before his controversial remarks about an Australian rape victim.

Duterte kept the lead with 32 percent in the latest ABS-CBN survey conducted by Pulse Asia, seven percentage points ahead of Sen. Grace Poe, who was stuck at second place with 25 percent.

Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration candidate Mar Roxas remained at third place where they were statistical tied with 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago came in at last place with 1 percent.

Pulse Asia took the survey from April 5 to 10, about a week before Duterte was heavily criticized for making light of an Australian missionary's rape and murder in his city in 1989.

The survey covered 4,000 registered voters nationwide, with an error margin of plus minus 1.5 percent, meaning Duterte established a clear lead over the other presidential candidates.

BACKLASH

During an April 13 campaign sortie in Quezon City, Duterte recalled a bloody hostage incident at a Davao prison, which killed 21 people, including Australian Jaqueline Hamill.

Duterte said he was angry that the woman, then 36, had been raped by the inmates. But he also noted that she's "so pretty he should have done it first."

WATCH: Duterte jokes about raped Australian woman

A video of his remarks has gone viral, sparking public outrage three weeks before election.

Political analyst Julio Teehankee said Duterte might find it difficult to "wiggle himself out" of this controversy at this stage in the campaign.

“He’ll definitely take a hit in the next survey. It’s just a question of how much. If he survives the backlash, he will win,” he told ABS-CBN News.

Prof. Edna Co, executive director of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, said Duterte could still maintain the lead despite the "gaffe."

"The last two weeks or so prior to election could be dramatic," she said.

Duterte says sorry to Filipinos; 'rape remarks not a joke'

DUTERTE, MAR TIED IN VISAYAS

In the ABS-CBN survey, Duterte was the top choice across all voting classes.

He was now statistically tied with Roxas for the lead in the Visayas, which had been dominated by the Liberal Party standard-bearer in previous surveys. Duterte got 29 percent, while Roxas had 35 percent.

This is due to the survey's +/- 3.4 margin of error in Total Visayas.

Duterte earlier secured the endorsement of the One Cebu, a local political party led by the Garcia clan. He also traces his roots in Cebu.

The mayor continued to pull away in Mindanao where he got 58 percent, three points higher than in the last ABS-CBN survey.

It's a three-way tie among Duterte, Poe, and Binay in the National Capital Region, a major campaign battleground because of its 6.2 million registered voters.

MARCOS LEADS

In the vice presidential race, Duterte's running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, remained at third place with 17 percent.

The survey period barely captured the impact of the April 10 vice presidential debate where Cayetano fiercely attacked the survey frontrunner, Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Marcos remained on top with 27 percent, seemingly unaffected by widespread criticism over his family's ill-gotten wealth and human rights abuses during his father's iron fist rule.

Sen. Francis Escudero and Rep. Leni Robredo were statistically tied at second place, with 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan, running mate of VP Binay, got 4 percent while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV got 3 percent.

Marcos was down seven percentage points in Metro Manila but was still ahead of the pack with 40 percent. Escudero, up six percentage points from the previous survey, was behind with 25 percent, while Cayetano had 15 percent and Robredo, 14 percent.

Marcos also topped the rest of Luzon with 35 percent, and dominated the survey among voting classes ABC and D.

DE LIMA DOWN

In the senatorial race, administration candidate Leila De Lima dropped to the 9th-13th places with 32.3 percent. She was down from the 5th-9th places in the last survey where she got 36.5 percent.

De Lima was tied with Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, who was now among 13 candidates with a statistical chance of landing in the Magic 12.

Incumbent Senators Franklin Drilon and Vicente Sotto III continued to lead the survey, followed by former Senators Francis Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who skipped most of the campaign while training for his third fight against American Timothy Bradley last April 10, improved to the 5th-11th places.

Tied in the 6th-11th places were administration candidates Joel Villanueva and Sen. Ralph Recto, followed by Sen. Serge Osmeña III, former Sen. Richard Gordon, and Risa Hontiveros in the 6th-12th places.

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