Analyst: Social media, PR efforts boosted Bongbong Marcos ranking in surveys

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) - Former senator Bongbong Marcos has already formalized his presidential bid for the 2022 polls, but what contributed to his high ranking in surveys even before declaring his political plans?

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday, political analyst Roland Simbulan attributed Marcos' high rankings to the "painstaking work" that he has done to utilize public relations firms and social media practitioners that would boost his chances of retaking Malacañang, which was once occupied by his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

"I think the ranking of Bongbong Marcos in the recent surveys is because of the painstaking work that they have done to utilize social media including professionals in the new media, especially PR firms, both local and foreign, so that they can prepare very well this time in the 2022 presidential elections," Simbulan said.

Marcos filed his certificate of candidacy on Wednesday, a day after announcing that he would seek the presidency. Days before his announcement, he placed second in Pulse Asia's Sept. 6-11 survey, with 15% of Filipino adults polled saying they would vote for him in the upcoming elections, trailing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte with 20%.

On the day of Marcos' filing, some members of the media covering the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza reported that they received an emergency mobile alert regarding Marcos' presidential bid with the hashtag #BBM2022.

"Buong Buo ang Malasakit sa Bansa. Buong Buhay ang Maiaalay sa taongbayan. Bagong Bukas na Masagana para sa masa...BBM sa bansa, BBM sa taongbayan, BBM sa masa. BBM Pilipinas," the text message read.

Under Republic Act 10639 or the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, only government agencies such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology are authorized to send out disaster alerts through mobile phone service providers.

Simbulan warned that the unrecovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family could be fully utilized in the coming elections "if they believe that they can have a good chance of winning."

RELATED: Sandiganbayan orders return of hundreds of millions in Marcos ill-gotten wealth to govt 

Candidacy not surprising

Meanwhile, Simbulan and Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares said Marcos' bid for the presidency was not a surprising move for someone who has been eyeing his return to Malacañang even before his vice presidential attempt in the 2016 elections.

"I was not surprised by the way that Bongbong Marcos decided to run and file his candidacy because this is what they have been gunning for even before the 2016 presidential elections. When he ran for vice president at the time, he was already aiming for the 2022 presidential elections," Simbulan said.

Colmenares, on the other hand, warned that another Marcos presidency might give the family an opportunity "to rearrange history once more so they would be in the favorable side of history and the Filipino people."

He also called for a stronger opposition, calling Marcos a "dangerous" presidential opponent.

READ: Bongbong Marcos a 'dangerous' opponent in presidential race - Colmenares 

Marcos lost to Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 national elections. He is seeking the highest post under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. Other key presidential aspirants who have filed their certificates of candidacy so far are Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

The Commission on Elections will accept COCs until Oct. 8.