By Llanesca T. Panti Reporter
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is back on top.
The latest Pulse Asia survey showed that Escudero has again secured the second spot with a 48.5 percent voter preference. He again trails longtime survey leader Sen. Loren Legarda who garnered 51.5 percent.
Former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chairman Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who has Escudero as her campaign manager, was the biggest gainer, securing the third spot with 42.4 percent, the highest position she got since filing her certificate of candidacy in October 2012.
Rounding up the top 12 are reelectionist Alan Peter Cayetano (40 percent), former rep. Cynthia Villar of Las Piñas (37 percent), Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th (35.8 percent), Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino (35.7 percent), Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito of San Juan (34.7 percent) Nancy Binay (34.6 percent), Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd (32.7 percent), Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (31.2 percent) and former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (29.7 percent).
Ejercito, Binay and Zubiri belong to the opposition slate United Nationalist Alliance.
Team PNoy spokesman Rep. Romero Quimbo of Marikina attributed Escudero’s resurgence to the uptick in campaign advertisements of the senator after the bad press he got because of a bitter feud with the parents of his girlfriend Heart Evangelista whose real name is Love Marie Ongpauco.
In March, Heart’s parents—Rey and Cecile—accused Escudero of taking advantage of their daughter, and being a drunkard.
Heart defended the senator but Escudero slipped to third and fourth rankings in previous surveys.
“The only reason he went down was the absence of any advertisements. Out of sight, out of mind. That has been the story of this election. The personal attacks on him had no effect. You can’t put a good man down,” Quimbo said.
“If you do not advertise, your ratings will drop. But ever since he started advertising, senator Chiz’s rating has recovered. Unlike the others, he cannot afford to wage an expensive campaign that’s why he has to conserve his resources,” he added.
Former representative Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros of Akbayan Partylist and former senator Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. also posed notable gains in the new survey. For the first time, Hontiveros and Magsaysay made it to the top 16.
In an interview in Quezon, Magsaysay said he is confident that the network he accumulated through the years of his public service would deliver enough votes come May 13.
“We have to reach out, person to person. Many of them I have known since I was in the Senate. Some of them were incumbent during my father’s time. Now their grandsons, sons are in position, we ask them to allow us to go back to public service,” he told reporters.
Pulse Asia noted declines in the voting likability of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter Nancy (-5.0 percentage points); Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s son Juan Castaner “Jack” Enrile (-5.2 percentage points); reelectionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (-8.7 percentage points); former senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan (-8.9 percentage points) and Pimentel (-9.0 percentage points.
The other candidates included in the survey were former senators Richard Gordon (14th to 18th); Maria Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal (17th-18th), Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn (19th-21st), Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales province (19th to 22nd); Bro. Eddie Villanueva (19th-22nd); former senate president Ernesto Maceda (20th-23rd); former governor Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco of Tarlac City (22nd-24th), Rep. Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna Party-list (23rd-24th), Sammy Alcantara (25th-29th), JC De Los Reyes (25th-32nd), Ramon Montaño (25th-32nd), Bro. Lito Yap David (25th-33rd), Grego Belgica (25th-33rd), Bal Falcone (26th-33rd), Ricardo Penson (26th-33rd), Llasos (26th-33rd), and Christian Señeres (28th-33rd).
With a report from Fatima Cielo B. Cancel