Former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago emerged as the top choices for president and vice president, respectively, in a mock poll conducted among students of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Santiago said she is considering the possibility of running for president in next year’s elections.
“I’m not going to be coy. Society leaders have urged me to seek the presidency. I can rise to the occasion,” Santiago said in her social media accounts yesterday.
Santiago, who has been battling Stage 4 lung cancer, is on her last term as senator.
Sought for comment, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Santiago is “certainly qualified to run for president.”
Manuel Golez, project head of the Boto ng Iskolar ng Bayan: The UP Alpha Sigma Mock Election Series, said 2,588 students took part in the polls, which were conducted through an open voting system.
Golez said they focused on first time voters, particularly students enrolled in general education courses.
He said the participants in the mock polls were randomly selected, and the results – while showing a picture of the preference of UP students – are not backed by a scientific method of sampling to be an accurate representation of the pulse of the entire university student population of over 20,000.
“Our objective is to educate students on the electoral process. We want to empower them by showing that they have a say (in choosing our leaders),” he said.
During the mock polls, participants were asked to select their preference for president and vice president if the elections were held during the mock polling period from Sept. 7 to 30.
Based on the result of the presidential race, Roxas garnered the most votes with 598, followed by Sen. Grace Poe with 572 and Santiago at 512.
Trailing them were Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with 491 votes, Sens. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Francis Escudero with 68 each, Vice President Jejomar Binay with 52, former senator Panfilo Lacson with 40, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 36, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with eight votes and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV had six.
A total of 126 students did not vote for anyone for president.
In the vice presidential race, Santiago topped the results with 428 votes, followed by Escudero and Poe with 405 and 377, respectively. – With Christina Mendez