MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo's ranking in a pre-election survey on the most preferred potential candidates for president is "respectable" given that she has "has paid no attention to the frantic positioning" for the 2022 elections, her spokesman said on Wednesday.
Robredo tied at third place with 2 other potential candidates for president in the Pulse Asia poll topped by President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“VP Leni's numbers are respectable considering that she has been focused on working on COVID-19 response initiatives and has paid no attention to the frantic positioning for 2022 at all,” said Office of the Vice President spokesman Barry Gutierrez.
“'Yung iba diyan, deny ng deny na tatakbo, pero nagkalat naman ang mukha at pangalan sa mga billboard at tarp. Si VP Leni, trabaho lang ang tutok,” he said in a statement.
(Some people there keep denying that they will run, but their faces and names are scattered in billboards and tarps. VP Leni is focused only on work.)
Robredo as recently as June said she was open to gunning for the presidency in 2022.
“We remain confident, when, and if, she decides to run for President, the numbers will be there. Hindi pa nagsisimula ang laban,” Gutierrez said.
(The fight has not yet started.)
ATTACKS, LACK OF COVERAGE
According to Pulse Asia, Robredo's recent ranking in the pre-election survey could be a result to her lack of Cabinet portfolio and the administration's constant attacks on her.
"The attacks coming from the administration over the last 5 years have also taken its toll on the level of pre-election support for the Vice President," the pollster's president Ronald Holmes told ANC's "Rundown".
He also noted there was a "scant information" reported of Robredo's work on traditional media.
While presence on social media can help a candidate's chance of getting pre-electoral support, traditional media remains the most important medium to Filipinos, Holmes said.
"The attacks against the Vice President have also come out in traditional media, which is more accessible," he said.
"About 40 percent of population do not access the internet. So, there's still a sizable proportion of the population who are not necessarily influenced by social media given their lack of access to the internet."
In 2016, Robredo initially languished in pre-election surveys for the vice presidential race before eventually tying with former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. several days before the polls.
She defeated the namesake son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos by around 260,000 votes, one of the narrowest margins in recent elections.
Duterte, a Marcos ally, has threatened Robredo with a "nightmare" should she decide to run for president next year.
The President has repeatedly denied that his daughter would seek to be his successor.
But Duterte, 76, said last week he was "seriously" considering running for vice president in 2022—a potential candidacy that has spawned a feud among the members of his political party, the PDP-Laban.
Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, has expressed openness to running for president.