President Rodrigo Duterte remains popular amid the Covid-19 pandemic as there were no corruption issues that could be linked directly to him, a political science professor said.

Voters only became “disappointed” with candidates and political figures if they were directly involved in corruption scandals, said Dennis Coronacion, head of the political science department of the University of Santo Tomas, on the Press Room Podcast on July 17.

“Ang daming pwedeng maging factors niyan that can explain ‘yong kanyang popularity, number one ho jan ay is that sabi nila malinis pa raw until now si Duterte…Mayroong mga corruption issue sa kanyang administration pero ‘yong taong nakapaligid sa kanya and wala ni isa na directly linking the president to any corruption scandal or issue,” Coronacion said.

(There are possible factors that can explain his popularity, number one is that they say until now, Duterte is clean…There are corruption issues in his administration but these are people around him and not one is directly linking the president to any corruption scandal or issue.)

The professor explained that personality-oriented politics in the country also caused the “Duterte magic” to spill over to daughter Sara Duterte, especially with troll armies protecting the public image of the president according to studies.

In a Pulse Asia survey, 28 percent of the respondents picked Sara as president, while her father was the choice of 18 percent for vice president.

Coronacion pointed out that Sara must persevere to secure Luzon votes as Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso and former senator Bongbong Marcos were the top picks for Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

However, he said polls were only “snapshots” of the political reality and warned voters to not use surveys as their sole guide on who to vote for. Jelo Ritzhie Mantaring