VP thumps rivals in SWS survey
Vice President Jejomar Binay widened his lead over his rivals in the presidential race, proving that he remains the man to beat, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Despite attempts by his political foes to derail his presidential bid through allegations of corruption, Binay again emerged as the frontrunner with 31 percent, up by five percentage points from his score of 25 percent in the December 2015 survey.
The survey held from January 8 to 10 showed the Vice President leading his closest contender, Sen. Grace Poe, by seven percentage points.
Poe, who is running as an independent, garnered 24 percent.
She is followed by former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) who got 21 percent.
Former Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was fourth at 20 percent.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago got three percent, a percentage point lower than her rating in December.
The nationwide survey covered 1,200 registered voters with a margins of error of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The SWS on its website said, “The area estimates were weighted by the 2015 Commission on Elections data on registered voters to obtain the national estimates.”
The SWS defined a validated voter as “a registered voter whose biometrics have been captured digitally (i.e., digital images of his/her photograph, fingerprints, and signature have been recorded) by the VRM.”
According to Comelec Resolution 9721, “only validated voters will be allowed to vote in the 2016 elections,” it said.
The survey results will encourage Binay to “work harder for the people,” his spokesman on political affairs Rico Quicho said.
“The Vice President is humbled by the people’s trust in his capability to lead our country. It will encourage him to work harder in order to demonstrate his actions to uplift our people’s lives, fight poverty and provide employment,” Quicho noted in a statement.
“He will continue to emphasize that our country needs an experienced and competent leader to work for inclusive growth that would ultimately benefit the poor who comprise majority of our country,” he said.
The survey conducted by Pulse Asia in December also showed Binay of the opposition United National Alliance getting the nod of 33 percent of 1,800 respondents nationwide.
Poe, meanwhile, said the survey results will drive her to reach out to people more.
“I value the insights from public opinion surveys as an impetus to remain steadfast in my work and to continue reaching out to people to let them know about my platform and plans.
I also urge my supporters to help me spread the word that I remain a candidate for President in the upcoming elections and I am ready to serve the people,” the senator added.
But President Benigno Aquino 3rd shrugged off the results of the SWS survey, saying it was just a “snapshot.”
“Wala pa tayo talaga sa kampanyahan [We are not yet in the campaign period],” Aquino told reporters.
As for the chances of Roxas and his running mate Rep. Leni Robredo, the President believed that there is “consistency” in their survey numbers.
“We think that there is no way to go but up,” said Aquino, chairman of the ruling Liberal Party.
Meanwhile, the SWS survey showed that Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero was the respondents’ top choice for Vice President with 28 percent, down two points from December’s 30 percent.
At second place was Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. with 25 percent, followed by Robredo, 17 percent and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, 14 percent.
For the senatorial race, incumbent senator Vicente Sotto and former senator Panfilo Lacson led the pack.
Sotto got a rating of 56 percent, a three percentage point drop from his 59 percent in December while Lacson scored 49, up by three percentage points from December’s 46 percent.
Sen. Ralph Recto and former food security presidential assistant Francis Pangilinan were tied in the third place with 46 percent.
Senate President Franklin Drilon got a rating of 43 percent, followed by Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd, 42 percent, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, 39 percent, Sarangani Rep. Emmmanuel D. Pacquiao, 37 percent, former Justice secretary Leila de Lima, 33 percent and former senator Richard Gordon, 31 percent.
The SWS survey showed only 32 percent of respondents chose a full slate of 12 names, averaging 7.9 names each.
With LLANESCA PANTI