Diokno, Hontiveros make it in Senate ‘Magic 12’, survey shows

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and reelectionist Senator Risa Hontiveros were among the opposition senatorial candidates who made it into the so-called “Magic 12” in the latest survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc.

Senator Risa Hontiveros and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB/MANILA BULLETIN)

The survey, which was conducted from Oct. 11 to 18, showed Hontiveros at 9th place with 34.67 percent preference rate, while Diokno landed on 12th with 27.20 percent.

Some 1,500 adult Filipinos participated in the survey during the period.

The survey was originally scheduled in September but it was moved after the filing of the end of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Oct. 8. This gave the respondents a clearer list of candidates to choose from in relation to the upcoming May 2022 polls.

Diokno, who is seeking a Senate seat next year following his failed bid in 2019, said the survey results will serve as his “strength and inspiration” to work harder to give justice to the people in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa mga kababayan natin na walang pagod na nagtitiwala sa aking kakayahan at sa hangarin nating bigyan ng ngipin ang ating batas,” said Diokno (We thank our countrymen who tirelessly trust our capability and intention to give teeth to our laws),” he said in a statement.

Diokno is the senatorial bet of the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KANP) Party, while Hontiveros is a guest candidate from the Akbayan Party.

READ: Ngipin ng batas' Diokno says Robredo intends to give 'teeth' to PH laws

They are both running for senator under the opposition slate of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In the latest PUBLiCUS Asia survey, Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Broadcast journalist Raffy Tulfo topped the list of preferred senatorial candidates in the upcoming polls.

The survey said that close to 60 percent of the respondents picked Escudero as their top senatorial candidate, followed by Tulfo with 46.33 percent.

Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian came next with 46.27 percent and 41.47 percent, respectively.

Deputy House Speaker Loren Legarda ranked fifth with 40.20 percent, followed by Senator Miguel Zubiri at sixth place with 39.87 percent.

Completing the Magic 12 were Mark Villar, broadcaster Noli De Castro, reelectionists Joel Villanueva, and Richard Gordon. De Castro had previously announced his decision to withdraw from the Senate race.

Escudero, Villanueva, Zubiri, and Gordon are the opposition’s guest candidates, but they are also vying for a Senate seat under the slate of other presidential aspirants in the 2022 polls.