Vice President Jejomar Binay remains the top presidential candidate for 2016 despite the 10 percent drop in his rating, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.
Binay’s voter preference rating dropped to 31 percent this month from 41 percent in June.
The camp of the Vice President said on Monday the survey results were a surprise because Binay’s popularity was hardly affected by the allegations hurled against him and other members of his family. The survey was held while the Senate blue ribbon committee was investigating allegations that the Makati City Hall Building 2 was overpriced and that Binay benefited from it.
“Given the very challenging and rough times that the Vice President faced in the past weeks, we expected a bigger decline, but the latest survey results are a surprise for us,” Rep. Tobias Tiangco, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president and spokesman, said.
“The public is aware that the allegations against him are part of the modus of the administration allies to discredit him and his family,” he added.
The survey held from September 8 to 15 showed that Binay’s rating dropped in all classes. It fell by 13 percent in class ABC, from 36 to 23 and by 10 percent in Class D. Support for the Vice President in Class E dropped only by seven percent.
Tiangco said the survey results will only motivate the Vice President “to improve the bar of public service, and no amount of smear and slander can shake him.”
He added that Binay will remain focused on his job and committed to assist distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), provide shelter to those who aspire to have their own homes and continue to improve his performance by serving the people.
Trailing Binay in the survey was Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, said to be President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s preferred successor, who moved up to 13 percent from 7 percent. He was followed by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who got 11 percent.
The survey also listed other presidential aspirants–Sen. Grace Poe (10 percent), former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (10 percent), Sen. Francis Escudero (5 percent), Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (4 percent), former Vice President Noli de Castro and Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman Richard Gordon (3 percent).
Former senator and now rehabilitation czar Secretary Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. each received 1 percent.
Malacañang refused to comment on the results of the Pulse Asia survey.
“To all those asking on the Pulse Asia survey on the numbers of VP (Vice President) Binay and Secretary (Roxas), we will beg your indulgence and leave the analysis of the survey to the political parties, their spokespersons and to political analysts,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a text message.
“While surveys on ‘presidentiables’ are a matter of keen interest to the public, we remain committed (to) the President’s principles on good governance and the administration continues to attend to the concerns of our countrymen,” he added.
Lacierda is not a member of the ruling Liberal Party but he served as the party’s spokesman during the campaign in the May 2010 presidential elections, where Roxas lost to Binay in the vice presidential race.
WITH FERNAN MARASIGAN