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    Vice President Leni Robredo is building momentum.

    The candidate for the next President of the Philippines is catching up on frontrunner, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., also known as BBM.

    A new poll shows Robredo increasing her support from voters in the May 9 election.

    However, she remains a long way back.

    Support for the ice President grew nine points, based on results of a survey by Pulse Asia released on April 6.

    Just over a month ahead of the May 9 election, Robredo gained the additional percentage points to attain a voter preference score of 24 percent, according to the Pulse Asia survey conducted March 17-21.

    Marcos, the son and namesake of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., still enjoys a comfortable lead, despite his score dipping to 56% from 60% in a February survey.

    The poll asked 2,400 people who would they vote for if the presidential election was held during the survey period.

    Robredo’s bid has recently secured endorsements from more local government officials, while supporters have embarked on house-to-house campaigning.

    Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, said the latest poll numbers are starting to reflect “what we have been seeing on the ground.”

    “Leni has the momentum, which we expect will only further intensify and accelerate all the way to May 9. What we are seeing now is the turning of the tide,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

    Gutierrez believes that the People’s Campaign rallies for Robredo are finally converting.

    Gutierrez called it the turn of the tide and will only intensify in the days to come leading to the May 9 election.

    Robredo, a former human rights lawyer and public attorney, is running on campaign that promises clean and honest governance to uplift the lives of the poor.

    She plans a 100-billion-peso stimulus package for small enterprises that were battered by the pandemic.

    On foreign policy, Robredo has said she plans to bolster engagement with “allies and like-minded nations” in the face of Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.

    Apart from Marcos, other presidential candidates also saw their scores decline.

    Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s slid to 8% from 10%, and boxing icon Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s score dropped to 6% from 8%.

    In the vice presidential race, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s score improved to 56% from 53%.

    The daughter of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte is running together with Marcos, although the president and vice president are elected separately in the Philippines.

    Senate President Tito Sotto came in second with 20%, down from 24%.

    Robredo’s running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan scored 15%, improving form 11%.

    The survey had a 2% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.

    Marcos’ four-point drop was due to his decline in all regions and in all economic classes, except for A and B, which Pulse Asia still did not provide numbers for.

    In contrast, Robredo posted two-digit leaps in Balance Luzon (+14), Class C (+13) and D (+10) and only declined by one point in Metro Manila.

    Prior to the release of this survey, the Robredo campaign was saying that the polls that have been released have yet to capture the groundswell of support for the independent presidential candidate, which they said is seen in her massive rallies.

    The May 2022 presidential election is now more looking like a race between Marcos and Robredo, according to Pulse Asia’s Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda.

    Tabunda shared her observation in an interview with ANC on April 6, following the release of the March 2022 Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey results for the May 2022 elections.

    “It is more of a two-way race between Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Bongbong Marcos Jr.,” she said.

    “It is telling [us] that some of their (Robredo’s camp) efforts are bearing fruit,” Tabunda said.

    Tabunda said the nine-point increase in Robredo’s voter preference is a significant improvement, while Marcos’ four-point decline in voter preference is “not a significant drop.”

    “He [Marcos] will have to insert more effort if he wants to maintain a wider lead,” she pointed out.

    “The gap between them is 32 percentage points. If Bongbong Marcos loses 16 points and Leni Robredo gains 16 points, they will be statistically tied. So you need larger than 16 percentage point decline for Bongbong Marcos and larger than 16 percentage point increase for Leni Robredo,” Tabunda explained.

    Marcos’ spokesman, Vic Rodriguez, urged their supporters, volunteers and campaigners “to refrain from complacency and remain focused on achieving our common target of 70% presidential preference mark.”

    “We acknowledge the overwhelming support of the people as the Pulse Asia survey results clearly show, but the challenge to make history shall remain kindled until election day, and even beyond,” Rodriguez said.

    Rodriguez added, “We shall not rest until the 70% preference survey polls position is attained, until every vote is counted and the aspirations of the Filipino people become a reality.”

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