MANILA - Malacañang believes that the rise in President Aquino's latest satisfaction rating will provide a boost to whoever he would endorse as his preferred successor in 2016.
In a text message, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that the survey numbers prove that Aquino will play "front and center in the 2016 elections."
He added the results disputed predictions that Aquino would become a "lameduck" in his last year in office.
"Many pundits have predicted that with the previous survey numbers that he is a lameduck. This quarter's survey numbers prove otherwise and that he will continue to play front and center in the 2016 elections. It also shows that people continue to respond to his call to continue to tread Daang Matuwid. If you are speaking of his endorsement, then his playing front and center, his high numbers will certainly bode well for the candidate the president will endorse," Lacierda said.
Speaking to reporters, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte added that the latest survey showed that Aquino "still holds" the support of the people.
"The President's numbers tend to disprove that (predictions that he will be a lameduck). It shows that he really still holds the support of his constituents," Valte said.
But the Palace could not say yet who the President is likely to endorse following the release of pre-election surveys on possible presidential bets.
Valte said Aquino's choice would be "personal" as he would like his preferred successor to continue his program of "daang matuwid."
"Limang taon po at halos magiging anim na taon na buhay ng Pangulo ang ginugol niya para namang subukang mapaganda ang estado ng bansa natin. Lagi niyang sinasabi 'yan na ang gusto niyang mangyari ay 'yung inabutan niyang bansa noong 2010 ay sana mas maganda 'pag alis niya ng 2016. So may personal investment din talaga ang Pangulo na ayaw niyang masayang o positively, gusto niyang maituloy ang mga gains na nasimulan ng kanyang administrasyon," Valte said.