Grace Poe preferred by more Iglesia ni Cristo members – Laylo poll

Paterno Esmaquel II
Grace Poe preferred by more Iglesia ni Cristo members – Laylo poll
Going by religious affiliation, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the top choice among Muslims, while Mar Roxas is preferred by Aglipayans

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe is the presidential candidate preferred by more members of the politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), a recent survey showed.

Going by religious affiliation, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, is the presidential candidate of choice of more Muslims.

In the latest survey by pollster Junie Laylo for the broadsheet The Standard, which was published Tuesday, February 9, 34% of INC members said they will vote for Poe. 

Next to Poe, the following are preferred by INC members:

  • 25% for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
  • 20% for Vice President Jejomar Binay
  • 11% for former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II
  • 2% for Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

Of the INC members, 7% remain undecided.

While this survey shows the individual preferences of INC members, they elect only the candidates chosen by their leaders.

INC members typically vote as a bloc. INC leaders disclose their list of anointed candidates only days before the elections, often based on who is leading in polls.

The INC has up to 1.37 million Filipino voters, or 2.6% of the voting population.

When Poe defended INC

Poe gained the support of INC members when she defended them in August 2015.

Back then, INC members staged a huge anti-government rally after an expelled INC minister complained against the powerful church before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

INC members demanded “separation of church and state” as they challenged the DOJ to drop the case.

Poe said INC members had only been defending their faith. 

Many non-INC members slammed Poe for her statement because the INC rally caused heavy traffic and paralyzed the metropolis. (READ: ‘Sayang’ Poe: Grace and the INC)

Laylo conducted the survey from January 27 to February 4 among 3,000 respondents. For national results, it has a margin of error of +/- 1.8%.

Overall, Poe maintained her lead over other presidential bets in this latest Laylo survey. 

Muslim voters for Duterte

Based on religious affiliation, the case is different among Muslims as far as the Laylo survey is concerned. 

Based on the Laylo survey, 34% of Muslims support Duterte.

Other Muslims said they will vote for the following candidates:

  • 23% for Roxas
  • 19% for Poe
  • 19% Binay
  • 2% for Santiago 

Among Muslims, 2% remained undecided.

Muslims in the Philippines have an autonomous region in the island group of Mindanao. Duterte’s city and bailiwick is also located in this island group. 

In Mindanao, 44% of voters prefer Duterte for president, according to the same survey. (READ: Can Mindanao voters propel Duterte to presidency?)

The Laylo survey shows 78% of voters in the Davao region want to elect the Davao City mayor as president. 

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, more voters – 37% – want to elect Duterte for president.

Roxas leads among Aglipayans

The recent Laylo survey also listed voter preference for president in other religions.

Catholic voters gave the following preferences for presidential candidates:

  • 30% for Poe
  • 22% for Binay
  • 22% for Roxas
  • 20% for Duterte
  • 2% for Santiago

Of the Catholic voters, 4% remained undecided.

Born Again voters, on the other hand, provided the following presidential preferences:

  • 28% for Poe
  • 25% for Binay
  • 22% for Roxas
  • 18% for Duterte
  • 4% for Santiago

Of the Born Again voters, 3% remained undecided.

Aglipayan voters had also been surveyed, and said they will vote for the following: 

  • 26% for Roxas
  • 24% for Binay
  • 15% for Duterte
  • 11% for Poe
  • 3% for Santiago

Only Aglipayans made Roxas their top choice for president.  

The Aglipayans also had the most number of undecided voters – 20%, as opposed to the average of 4% across the Philippines. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.