1Sambayan 'very much in the running' as Dutertes top pre-election survey

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Emerging opposition coalition 1Sambayan is unfazed by latest survey results showing their nominees lagging behind frontrunners Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We are not discouraged. We are very much in the running,” 1Sambayan convenor lawyer Howard Calleja said Thursday in a press briefing.

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, another 1Sambayan convenor, echoed this, noting that early survey frontrunners usually do not win in the elections.

“The surveys now will not reflect the actual result of the election,” Carpio said. “The real surveys that will be reflective of the election will be some time in March.”

Calleja said they are banking on a united opposition to defeat Mayor Duterte or anyone President Duterte may anoint as his presidential bet.

“One candidate can win over Sara Duterte or any candidate of the administration,” Calleja said. “All we need is to unite and have one candidate.”

The opposition coalition, however, is still in the process of selecting its candidates for president and vice president three months before the filing of candidacies.

Some of its nominees in the country, like Sen. Grace Poe and Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos, have also said that they are not interested in running for president.

Carpio: It's a matter of timing 

For Carpio, it’s just a matter of timing since potential candidates do not want to announce their candidacies this early out of fear that they will be subjected to a smear campaign.

“These candidates are afraid, if they come out now, the trolls of Duterte will pound on them,” he said.

Only three of 1Sambayan’s nominees polled in the latest Pulse Asia presidential survey — all of them trailing behind Mayor Duterte.

Only 10% said they would have voted for Poe if the elections were held when they were polled, while 6% said they would have voted for Vice President Leni Robredo and a measly 2% said they would have voted for former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Trillanes was the lone 1Sambayan nominee to poll in the vice presidential survey, with only 2% of the respondents saying they would have voted for him if elections were held on the days of the survey.

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