With only days away from Election Day, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has maintained his huge lead over his opponents in the presidential race.

His runningmate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, at the same time, remains the top favorite to win the vice presidential election.

In its coverage of the upcoming Philippine elections, the multi-awarded Wion News which is based in India reported that Marcos Jr. is on the verge of capturing the presidency.

“Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is on the verge of clinching the ultimate … victory,” the news channel said in its latest report.

“Winning the presidency, the 64-old is the son of (the late President Marcos). Currently, he is leading with 56% of people supporting him,” the Wion report added.

As we go to the press, the same report was validated and confirmed by the independent Pulse Asia in its latest and final survey before the May 9 election.

The Pulse Asia survey held April 16 to 21 among 2,400 respondents nationwide showed Marcos retained his March survey rating of 56 percent. Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, got 23 percent, one point down from her rating in March.

An eyebrow raiser in the survey is Sen. Manny Pacquiao who clinched the third spot at 7 percent, overtaking Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso, who is now at fourth place with 4 percent as Sen. Panfilo Lacson remains at fifth place with 2 percent.

In the vice presidential derby, Mayor Sara maintained the top spot at 55 percent, still 37 points higher than her closest rival Senate President Vicente Sotto III who got 18 percent. Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan stays at third place with 16 percent, while Dr. Willie Ong is at fourth place with 3 percent, followed by Manny Lopez with 1 percent, overtaking Deputy Speaker Jose Lito Atienza at fifth place.

Considering its perceived detachment from the candidates, I contend that the New Delhi-based Wion, in comparison with Philippine-based news agencies, is more reliable in its reporting of our political events.

We know for a fact that some sectors in the Philippine media patronize, hobnob,
or are in lovey dovey mode with our own politicians and their slip shows in their reports.

That’s why many may find this Wion report objective.

But as I’ve said in my previous column articles, the candidates  trailing Marcos Jr. and their supporters have every right to remain individually hopeful of victory. Hope springs eternal, so they say.

Can VP Robredo catch up and overtake Marcos Jr.? Her supporters led by the vice president’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said they can still catch up.
 Gutierrez has been emphatic in saying that the surveys conducted recently have not captured the impact of the “huge” number of people in attendance during Mrs. Robredo’s latest rallies.
He cited the one held in Pasay, among others. He believes the real survey will come out on Election Day when the votes are cast and counted.
Many like a renowned political analyst and researcher hold it that it is unlikely that VP Robredo can catch.
During an interview at ANC’s Hot Copy program, UST Professor Edmund Tayao was asked if Mrs. Robredo “still has a chance” to catch up and win the presidency.
Tayao said: “If our reference and the only reference we have is the surveys, it seems that the VP will be or have to settle for the second place.”
 “ The surveys have always been right in predicting the frontrunner. If this will not happen (on Monday), it will be the first time,” he explained.


Given his consistent and big lead and that people, including the undecided are inclined to jump into the bandwagon to vote for the popular candidate as the election draws near, I can’t see how Bongbong’s rivals can catch up with him, much less overtake him.