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Pulse Asia exec didn’t say Robredo ‘cannot beat Marcos’

Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda never said Vice President Leni Robredo cannot win against Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the presidential race, contrary to what a social media card alleged.

The card, which was posted by Twitter user @Knightmare415 on Feb.18 without citing a source, reads:

Leni has a ceiling of 16%. She cannot beat Bongbong Marcos.

The fabricated quote was a take-off from Tabunda’s interview with television anchor Karen Davila in the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) program Headstart about Pulse Asia’s Jan. 19-24 survey for the May elections.

In the entire 17-minute video posted on ANC’s YouTube channel, Tabunda never mentioned that Robredo cannot beat Marcos. Instead, she even said that other candidates should “still try to strategize to improve their voter preferences.”

Tabunda did say, however, that Robredo’s voter base has a ceiling but did not provide an exact figure for this.

In the 7:44 mark of the video uploaded to ANC’s YouTube channel, Davila asked why Robredo did not lead the list of second-choice candidates when she ranked second in the list of first-choice presidential bets after Marcos, Jr.

Tabunda answered at the 8:06 mark with:

That means the voter preference for Leni has a ceiling such that she will not come out as a second choice.

Davila then asked whether Robredo’s ranking in the second-choice preference survey proves an earlier claim by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s camp that her voter base is capped at 14%. Tabunda’s response at 8:48 was:

Well, we're seeing 16 here now. She has seen 20, so 14 might be too low.

Marcos leads the January Pulse Asia survey with a 60% voter preference, which Tabunda called a “significant” increase from his December score of 53%. She also noted that this is the first time a presidential candidate has recorded more than 50% in pre-election surveys.

Robredo trails Marcos at second with 16%, a four-point decrease from the 20% she recorded last month. Meanwhile, she ranked fourth as voters’ second choice for president with 13% saying she is their alternative candidate.

The fabricated graphic was first published on Twitter where it gained five likes. It was reposted across Facebook by Marcos supporters, including the page Diego Silang on Feb. 18 and user Wer2GoPH on Feb. 21 where it received a total of 1,053 reactions, 166 comments and 385 shares. (RC)


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