...according to a political scientist
DAVAO - Political science professor Ramon Beleno III believes Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's comments on traffic and the tanim-bala controversy made him the top choice for president of Metro Manila voters.
READ: 'Tanim-bala' irks Duterte: 'Palunok ko talaga ang bala'
A privately commissioned Pulse Asia survey said Duterte got the highest voter preference in Metro Manila with 34 percent, followed by Senator Grace Poe with 26 percent; Vice President Jejomar Binay, 22 percent; former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, 11 percent; and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, 7 percent.
The survey of 300 respondents was conducted on Nov. 11 to 12, more than a week before Duterte declared his intention to run for president.
READ: Duterte on 'tanim-bala' victims: They can just call me
"The mayor was very consistent in just saying the practical means of solving the problem, and I think yung nakita ng mga tao dito sa Metro Manila - iyung sincerity na hindi na kailangang magpa-pogi," Beleno said.
Now that Duterte has declared his plan to run for president, the professor said it is expected that some will question his candidacy based on technicalities.
READ: Ex-CHR chair warns vs Duterte presidency
Several law experts believe that Duterte will find it hard to replace erstwhile PDP-Laban presidential bet Martin Diño because of the error in the latter's certificate of candidacy (for mayor instead of president), and the move of the Commission on Election law department to declare him a nuisance bet.
Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal earlier said if Diño will be declared a nuisance bet, his COC would be denied due course or cancelled.
READ: Duterte substitution faces hurdles: lawyer
Some had suspected that Diño's nomination as PDP-Laban's standard-bearer was only meant to give the party more time to convince Duterte, who missed the October 16 deadline to file his COC for president, to finally throw his hat in the ring.
However, former Davao City councilor Pete Laviña, a Duterte supporter, said he is confident that the poll body will allow the mayor to substitute for Diño.
"Ang kulang na lang ay mapirmahan yung certificate of nomination and acceptance ng PDP-Laban at ma-submit na sa Commission on Elections," Laviña added.
Duterte's supporters said former Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will replace her father as the mayoralty candidate in Davao City.
"Marami nang indications naman. I learned na si Mayor Inday na ang nag-represent kay mayor sa isang official function sa Davao City, so magandang signal na yun na she already accepts to continue her former role as mayor ng Davao," Laviña said.
He said one of the challenges the mayor faces is winning back the support of those who got fed up by Duterte's indecision about his presidential bid.
"Nasa Filipino voter character din na nakita na natin noon pa, na marami ang nagbabago ang kanilang isip, nag-change ng kandidato up to the election day. So meron pa tayong mahabang panahon na ibenta si Mayor Duterte at iyong plataporma ng pagbabago," Laviña said.
Laviña added it was the mayor's tactic to file his certificate of candidacy on the last day to gain publicity.
The Duterte for President 2016 Movement said it will also continue to go to different parts of the country to urge voters to support Mayor Duterte.