Pulse Asia: Surveys showing Marcos most trustworthy shows effective ‘rebranding’

Mico Abarro & Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2022 04:50 AM

MANILA—Opinion pollster Pulse Asia said on Tuesday that survey results saying Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was the most trustworthy candidate in the 2022 elections showed how his camp has effectively "rebranded" him. 

Based on images of results from Pulse Asia's Nationwide Survey on the 2022 Elections circulating in social media, 53 percent of 2,400 respondents said Marcos was the "most honest and trustworthy" among all presidential bets in the elections.   

Second to Marcos was Vice-President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, whom 16 percent of respondents thought was the most honest and trustworthy among the candidates. 

Some 47 percent of the respondents also said Marcos was the candidate with "the greatest concern for the poor", and 41 percent said he was the "least corrupt" presidential bet. 

The results were amid the ill-gotten wealth the Marcoses had acquired during the 20-year administration of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, and allegations that his son Ferdinand Jr. was hiding that wealth, estimated to be between $5 billion to $10 billion. 

In the same survey, 60 percent of respondents said they would vote for the younger Marcos if the presidential elections were held between February 18 to 23, 2022. 

"So basically what they've done is to take him out of that, cast him as someone who can be trusted, cast him as someone who is honest, who should not be held accountable for whatever happened during the regime of the late dictator (Ferdinand Marcos) for that matter," Pulse Asia president Ron Holmes said in an interview with ANC's "After the Fact." 

Holmes also noted the difference between the percentage of respondents who preferred the former senator as president and the percentage of those who said he was the most honest, least corrupt, and most concerned for the poor.

"That only means that some of the people who voted for Bongbong selected some other candidate as more honest, more trustworthy than Bongbong," he said. 

The Pulse Asia president added that the results could also be an indication of the conviction a respondent had in supporting a particular candidate. 

"Sabi mo nga consistent ’yung kay VP Robredo, 15, 16 (percent). Ibig sabihin, ’yung mga bumoto sa kanya, ang paniniwala nila siya ang pinaka-pagkakatiwalaan, siya ang pinaka-hindi kurakot, siya ang pinaka-mahirap," Holmes said. 

"So hindi nalalayo ang gantong katangian niya doon sa sumusuporta sa kanya." 

Holmes explained that the results were from "rider questions" a Pulse Asia subscriber requested to be included in its non-commissioned pre-election survey with the intent of finding out why people wanted Marcos to be president. 

In an interview with ABS-CBN News earlier that day, Holmes said that the rider question results were supposed to be embargoed or not released by the firm to the public for a year. He added that the subscriber denied leaking the results themselves. 

"That means that they showed it to a particular group and there's possibly someone in that group that they showed it to that released the survey results to some other people, and eventually those survey results found their way into social media," he said. 

Pulse Asia has not disclosed the identity of the subscriber who asked for the inclusion of rider questions in the survey in the first place, saying it was confidential. 

Watch more News on iWantTFC