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Watch out for Ex-Pres. Duterte: Farmers’ top choice for 2025 Senate Race

Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Ex-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

EX-PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the man to beat in the 2025 Senate race, as he was picked out by various farmers’ groups among the senatorial bets for the forthcoming midterm elections.

Rodante Marcoleta
Rodante Marcoleta

The erstwhile Philippine president topped the latest survey conducted from Feb. 5-9 by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI). He got 66.1% while landing second is SAGIP partylist representative Rodante Marcoleta with 58.2% and Sen. Imee Marcos came in third with 58%.

Marcos was followed by Sen. Francis Tolentino who came in fourth with 55.7% and tailing behind him is Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa with 52.9%.

Other preferred senatorial bets were ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo for the 6th slot with 50.3% followed by former Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, 45.9%; the boxing icon, former Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao, took the 8th slot with 44.5%, while Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, for the 9th with 40.4%. Former VP Leni Robredo took the 10th also with 40.4%, former Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno with 37.1% and Sen. Pia Cayetano with 35.9%, thus completing the Magic 12 or Top 12.

Meanwhile, among the other top choices were former President Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque, 50.3%; actor Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid, 45.9%; followed by National Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo”Teodoro, 44.5%; former Sen. Richard Gordon, 40.4%; former vice presidential candidate, Dr. Willie Ong, 37.1%; Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, 35.9% and former VP Jejomar Binay, 33.9%.

Sen. Imee Marcos
Sen. Imee Marcos

There were 1,500 farmer respondents from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and they were asked randomly as to their senatorial bets for 2025 midterm polls.

Based on a separate interview, political observers noted that Marcoleta’s sudden rise to No. 2 was attributed to his project “Kiskisin mo Baby” — a nationwide campaign to rescue all rice farmers by forming a formula that may prevent hoarders and smugglers – believed to be behind the continuous rice price hikes.

On the other hand, it was late last year when former President Duterte announced his intention to run either as senator in 2025 or seek the nation’s second-highest post if his daughter, vice-president Sara Duterte, was impeached during the controversy on confidential fund. He made his presence felt anew.

Meanwhile, it’s not surprising that President Bongbong Marcos’ eldest sister is so popular. Aside from being known as “Super Ate ng Pangulo” (SAP), Sen. Imee is also known to oppose some policies of her brother.

Many political pundits, however, also noted that it’s still too early to conclude on survey results. They said that “anything can still happen between now and 2025.”

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