Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas will suffer the most in Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte joining the 2016 presidential derby, a political analyst said.
“Mar Roxas will really suffer from this development,” said Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform.
After earlier closing the door to a presidential run, Duterte on November 21, announced he would run for President.
The turn-around was sparked by the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) that Poe, a foundling, was a natural-born citizen and qualified to sit as a senator.
The 5-4 decision in favor of Poe of the 9-member SET also removed any legal obstacle to Poe seeking the presidency.
Duterte described the SET decision as “showbiz” and insists Poe is not a natural-born citizen which is required of candidates for President under the Constitution.
Casiple described Duterte’s entry as a “game changer” that could impact on pre-poll survey ratings for presidential preference.
Previous surveys of both the Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia had independent candidate Poe leading the pack, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), with Roxas at third and Duterte at the fourth spot.
Casiple said Duterte could rattle the rankings of the leading bets, but may not drastically change the rankings of Poe and Binay.
With Duterte in the race, the “votes will now be spread around and one candidate will lose votes more than the others,” he said.
Explaining why a Duterte candidacy would be a disaster to Roxas, Casiple said Roxas’ bailiwick—the Visayas—will likely go for Duterte. He adds that the Davao City mayor is also very popular in Mindanao.
“Roxas was in the third spot while Duterte was in the fourth. If Duterte performs well, he can easily dislodge Mar from the third spot,” he added.
Casiple said he would not expect Duterte to jump to the top spot.
“He is a game changer, not in the sense that he will be the frontrunner. Nor will he likely change the top one and top two posts held by Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay,” said Casiple.
On November 21, Duterte first bared he was running at the Philippine Gastroentrologists Society convention at the Iloilo Convention Center.
My presidential candidacy is “on the table,” he told convention participants after describing the SET decisions as “flaunting the Constitution.”
He would reiterate the same announcement on the same day in Cavite while attending a birthday party of a lawyer friend.
On November 22, in Davao City, Duterte also bared his plan to run in a pre-taped edition of his weekly program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN.