I hate to be a spoiler but I have bad news for President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas which could be one of the reasons why PNoy has been singing a different tune altogether lately.
If the elections were held today, Binay would beat PNoy and Roxas by a proverbial mile, documents obtained last week by The Manila Times show. It has a three percent plus or minus margin of error.
In a nationwide survey conducted by Laylo Reports from Sept. 7 to 11 with 1,200 respondents using face-to-face interview, Binay bested PNoy with a whooping 62 percent to the President’s 36 percent with two percent undecided. Following is the breakdown of the two-way scenario results between Pnoy and Binay region by region:
The survey results are portentous and instructive on several counts. The first is that despite being the object of the incessant negative publicity, Binay’s presidential chances have not diminished. His ratings have not contracted. On the contrary, his preference figures have breached the 50 percent threshold, leaving the President literally eating dust.
If Binay can hold on to his bailiwick, it is highly possible that the 2016 elections will give us a majority President.
Previous Presidents, from Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno S. Aquino 3rd, were elected into office with less than 50 percent of the votes cast. They were all elected minority Presidents.
The second is the undisputed strength of Binay in Northern Luzon. It was a total rout of PNoy by Binay. The reason could be that the Vice President hails from that region. His father is from Tuguegarao. He speaks Ibanag. His mother, on the other hand, comes from Batangas, Region 4, the most populous region and has the highest number of registered voters which could explain why his ratings in Southern Luzon hit a high 58 percent to PNoy’s miserable 39 percent.
The other is his strong hold in the rest of the regions breaching the 50 percent with near zero undecided votes.
Except in the NCR where the undecided had registered six percentage points, it would appear that the voters from Northern Luzon and the Visayas regions have, this early, already decided on who to vote for in the 2016 elections. Southern Luzon and Mindanao both had three percent undecided, which I consider almost negligible. This is unprecedented in Philippine politics.
I would have imagined that with the 2016 elections still some 19 months away, the percentage of the undecided would hover over double digit figure. But no. If anything, the results of the survey would indicate that the voters are sick and tired of the corruption and incompetence by the PNoy administration and that they could hardly wait for the elections to give the boot to anybody who would run under the Administration ticket.
In the same study, Roxas fared even worse than the President. Observe the figures below:
However, the 2016 elections is still months away and anything can still happen, so says conventional wisdom. And with the continuing Binay saga, his ratings could drop further and weaken his hold on his followers and imperil his chances in 2016. That is why the next round of surveys by SWS, Pulse Asia and Laylo is critical. He must hold on and remain in his lofty perch. And if he keeps his comfortable lead over Roxas, then that would strongly indicate that it would be all over but the proclamation.
There are reasons to believe that Binay has hard core supporters who would vote for him come hell or high water. He hails from Regions 1 and 4. His father was from Tuguegarao while his mother was from Batangas. The Ilocanos usually vote as a bloc. The Laylo Reports survey results validate that theory.
I also expect Region 4 to go for the Vice President in 2016 regardless. Binay’s late mother was from Batangas. Given the profile of our voters, they will likely vote into office one of their “own.” Regions 1 and 4 can give Binay a formidable base which he can effectively and efficiently utilize to blunt any attempt to topple him from his number 1 position.
Like the former President Joseph Estrada, it looks like Binay too has some 25 percent solid voter support or even more. If that is so, Roxas, and for that matter the Liberal Party, would be facing a 25 percent handicap even before the campaign period sets in.
What about Mindanao? It is no brainer. Mindanao will go opposition. There are two reasons why it would be so: one, is the power shortage. Mindanao experiences daily blackouts. And even if the power supply is raised and the daily power outages are temporarily addressed, the cost of electric consumption would be so astronomically high that in the end would crucify and impoverish the consumers. Businesses might close or be forced to lay off workers thus contributing to unemployment. PNoy cannot escape responsibility for the miseries of the Mindanaoans for he and he alone is in the saddle.
The other reason is the contentious Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). I am assuming that the BBL will pass both Houses of Congress and that it is finally signed into law by the President in 2015 or a year before the 2016 elections. I expect the law’s detractors to challenge it before the Supreme Court. There are only two possibilities: the High Court will either uphold it as constitutional or strike it down for being unconstitutional.
Whichever way the High Court decides, there will be trouble in Mindanao. Armed conflict will resume. And this time, it will be more deadly, more destructive with foreign money, arms pouring in and even foreign fighters joining the ranks of the rebels. Let me explain briefly.
If the Supreme Court sustains the law, the Christians and other Muslim sects, more particularly the MNLF who were shunted aside in the negotiations, would rise up in arms.
Its leaders have already said they would. The big Christian majority, and the Moros living with them harmoniously, even cooperatively, in Zamboanga City have already spoken and sent messages to Malacanang that it did not want to be part of the enlarged Bangsamoro region or substate. Other cities and provinces are of a similar mood.
On the other hand, if the BBL is struck down as unconstitutional, the MILF will not take it sitting down. To the MILF, it will be no less than an act of betrayal by the Philippine government. The rebels will launch what could be a final battle for the control of Mindanao. It would be interesting how the United States and other foreign powers who had endorsed the peace talks between the Philippines and the MILF would react to this development. Will they interfere and “Balkanize” the Philippines in the name of peace?
The Visayas? Well, it too, will go opposition. Cebu, the premier city in the South, is opposition country. There has been only one instance when it favored the administration party –the 2006 presidential election and it is expected to live up to its reputation as anti-administration stronghold.
The rest of the Visayas, especially Bohol and Leyte, are likely to go opposition. The plight of Bohol and Leyte displays the length, breath and depth of this administration’s corruption and the incompetence, negligence and insensitivity of our national officials.
They are the best argument for Visayan voters to dump the administration bets. The recent history of Bohol and Leyte proclaims to the world what is wrong with our government.
Ah, but there is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. With the phenomenal increase of the CCT budget, DSWD can use the CCT to win votes for the administration bets. If I were Secretary Dinky Soliman, I would think long and hard about allowing herself to be used as a political donkey by Abad and his minions who this early are having sleepless nights for their roles in PDAF and DAP monstrosities. It is bad enough that some opposition members are already sniffing the money trail of the CCT. There are reports that the money that was given to fictitious beneficiaries went to line the pockets of corrupt Aquino officials. Now, I wonder if Dinky would risk joining them behind bars once Aquino steps down from office. Oh, yes, there are suspicions that a large part of the CCT was allegedly used by Dinky for election purposes during the last polls. A repeat is not entire improbable.
OK, ok, Malacanang and the Liberal Party might say that “One sparrow doesn’t make a spring.” That the Laylo Reports is only one survey. But wait, there’s another study conducted by Pulse Asia during the same period that also shows Binay beating the President and Roxas on a one-on-one face off.
I tried getting hold of more data but my source begged off. Anyway, the results of the Pulse Asia nationwide survey conducted from September 11 to 18, with 1,200 respondents using face-to-face interviews squared off Binay on a one-on-one with President Aquino and DILG Secretary Roxas.
Read on and compare its findings with that of Laylo Reports and ask yourself what you think of Roxas’ chances of bagging the Presidency in 2016:
BINAY – 50%
PNOY – 36%
BINAY – 60%
ROXAS – 27%
So, there it goes. Still, the question: “Can Roxas beat Binay in the 2016 presidential elections?” Not with those figures.