Manila Mayor Isko Moreno's party believes that Vice President Leni Robredo's withdrawal from the May 9 presidential elections could earn him more votes, the party's chairperson said Monday.
While Moreno's call for Robredo to back out was originally not part of the agenda of Sunday's joint press conference, Aksyon Demokratiko chairperson Ernest Ramel Jr. told ANC that the vice president's withdrawal could benefit the Manila mayor in the elections.
Citing the results of the April 4 to 6 independent survey conducted by research firm Tangere, which reportr also obtained a copy, Ramel said 52% of Robredo's voters will shift to Moreno if she withdraws from the race, while only 18% of Moreno's voters will go to Robredo if it's the other way around.
The same survey, which was participated by 2,400 respondents nationwide, also showed that Moreno was the top second choice for president with 38% voter preference against Robredo with 9%, he added. Bongbong Marcos remains the top first choice with 57% followed by Moreno with 19%.
"This data shows that Mayor Isko has a better chance of winning," Ramel said.
Moreno on Sunday urged Robredo to make the "supreme sacrifice" and withdraw from the presidential race as he accused the vice president's camp of calling other candidates to back out.
Ramel said Moreno only brought up his call after hearing the statement of fellow presidential candidate Norberto Gonzales that it might be better to replace Robredo in the second spot to challenge survey frontrunner Marcos.
"When Sec. Gonzales put out that point, I think he felt that it was the right call. The numbers that we have internally and even the Tangere surveys are showing that Sec. Gonzales may be right. And so he felt that he should call the vice president to withdraw," he said.
During Sunday's joint press conference, Moreno, Gonzales, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson signed a joint statement saying that they commit to serving the people whoever wins the elections and that they would not withdraw from the race.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao, another presidential candidate, was expected to also join the press conference, although he was not able to attend it.