MANILA — Some candidates should have given way so others could have a "better chance" of defeating presidential contender Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, vice-presidential bet Rizalito David said Monday.
David was reacting to the latest and final April pre-election survey released by research firm Pulse Asia, where Marcos and Duterte remained as frontrunners in the presidential and vice-presidential races.
For David, "the political configuration would have changed" if presidential contender Sen. Ping Lacson "gave way" to Vice President Leni Robredo and if her running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan stepped aside for Senate President Vicente Sotto III "even late last month."
"The others would have followed suit and we now have a better chance of defeating the [Marcos-Duterte] tandem... And this is indeed unfortunate and sad," David said in a statement.
Given the latest Pulse Asia poll, David said the "more realistic target" for the opposition was to make sure that Marcos and Duterte would not get more than half of the votes.
Otherwise, he said Marcos and Duterte would have "tremendous political capital that they can use for whatever expedient political purposes they would deem fit."
In the latest Pulse Asia survey released exactly a week before the May 9 elections, Marcos maintained his 56 percent rating. Duterte-Carpio's score slightly dropped to 55 percent from 56.
Robredo's camp said the poll "does not yet capture the series of massive rallies from mid April onwards, including the record breaking 400k+ Pasay Rally on April 23."
"The remaining weeks of the campaign have seen intensified efforts at house-to-house, person to person campaigning by thousands of volunteers, which we believe will translate to support on election day," said Robredo's spokesman Barry Gutierrez.
"This has truly become a People's Campaign, a grassroots movement of Filipinos from all walks of life and from all over the Philippines. We put our trust that this People's Campaign will win the day on May 9," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sotto's running mate Lacson earlier said he would not withdraw from the race, even after leaders of the his political party Partido Reporma shifted their support to Robredo.
"No matter what, maski ano pang ang mangyari, harangan man ng sibat, hindi kami aatras," he said in a press conference.
(No matter what happens, even if we're stopped by a spear, we will not withdraw.)
David earlier endorsed Lacson's running-mate, Sotto, for vice president. But David said he would not drop out of the race so that the situation would not get complicated.
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