President Jejomar Binay’s lead in pre-election presidential surveys has drastically been reduced as Sen. Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares continues to close in, a poll conducted by the IBON Foundation indicated.
Binay, the presumptive opposition standard-bearer in next year’s elections, was chosen by 13.8 percent of the 1,496 people who responded to the survey conducted from May 13 to 23.
Poe, whom the Liberal Party is reportedly considering as its bet for either President or Vice President, was a close second with 13.7 percent.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ranked 3rd with 7.6 percent while 4.2 percent chose President Benigno Aquino 3rd although the President Benigno Aquino 3rd although the Constitution bars an incumbent President from seeking reelection.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, who has been projecting himself as Aquino’s successor, notched 3.8 percent.
The respondents were not given a list of names but were asked to just name their choice as the nation’s next pPesident, the think-tank said.
The IBON survey results ranking of the top three matched earlier results of polls conducted by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.
Poe on Friday said she has no definite decision yet for next year’s elections.
“I’m still contemplating whether I would run for higher office. But one thing I am certain, is that I have a dream to uplift the lives of the Filipino people,” she said in FIlipino.
Poe ready to face DQ case
Poe said she would readily face any disqualification case that would be filed against her by political personalities who are questioning her qualification to run for a higher position because it would give her a chance to defend herself.
She issued the statement in reaction to former congressman Jacinto Paras’ statement that he plans to file a disqualification case against the senator if she decides to seek a higher post in 2016.
Paras, who claims to be a staunch supporter of the senator’s father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., during the 2004 presidential elections, said he plans to question Poe’s residency and her foundling status.
According to the former lawmaker, he was disappointed at the senator for using her father’s name, even describing Poe as ambitious.
“It is his [Paras] right [to file]and I will welcome [it]because it will be a chance for me to defend myself. I’m not hiding anything and I respect the law,” the senator said in an interview.
She admitted that she was offended by the remarks of the former lawmaker on her being ambitious.
“It is like he [Paras] is saying that a person has no right to aspire,” Poe, who is yet to decide on her political plans in 2016, said.
She renounced her US citizenship after she was asked by President Benigno Aquino 3rd to head the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 2010.
But despite her clarifications, some political personalities continue to raise questions on her residency and citizenship status including her being a foundling.
Estradas split on Poe, Binay
The Ejercito-Estrada family is in a quandary whether to support a close political ally or a family friend.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito also on Friday said he would have to make a “difficult decision” on who to support should Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe both run for President in 2016.
Ejercito, who is allied with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), added that he hopes he would not find himself in a dilemma should Poe decide to gun for the country’s highest post.
“Wala pa naman kami dun. Bagama’t kami yung magkakapatid, magkumare, siguro mas magiging matimbang yung pinagsamahan namin sa Senado, pagiging isa namin sa mga isyu [We are not yet at the crossroad. She’s like a sister to me, we’re close friends, and we both have the same stand on various issues at the Senate,” he told reporters during the 117th Independence Day rites at the Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine in San Juan City (Metro Manila).
Poe was the guest speaker in the event.
Ejercito, son of deposed president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, said he he could not set aside the Ejercito-Estrada clan’s political ties with Binay.
"VP [Vice President] Binay has been an ally for a long time. Magkasama kami na lumaban dati sa administrasyon. Mahirap itapon yun eh. Hindi naman kami sa ginhawa nagsama, sa hirap eh… kaya mahirap talagang desisyon [V[Vice President Binay has been an ally for a long time. You can’t easily set that aside. We were together not only in good times, but in difficult times, that’s why it would be a very tough decision to make] he added.
Ejercito, meanwhile, discounted the possibility of a tandem between Binay and his father in the presidential race.
“I haven’t spoken to President Estrada for a long time but I think he’s happy where he is now. If he’ll not run for reelection as Manila mayor, he’ll just probably retire. He’s been telling people to leave next year’s race to the younger ones,” he said in Filipino.
Speaking to reporters after the flag-raising ceremony at the Rizal Park (Luneta) in Manila, Estrada said he is done being the nation’s Vice President.
Ejercito’s mother, Mayor Guia Gomez of San Juan City, declared her support for Poe, also a resident and registered voter of the city.
Gomez said she will support Poe’s candidacy even if she is not from the opposition, noting that the senator has several programs that promote women’s welfare and children’s rights and fight poverty.