WHILE Vice President Jejomar Binay is humbled by results of the latest pre-election survey conducted by Pulse Asia, he also expects an intensified demolition job against him by his rivals.
Lawyer Rico Quicho, campaign spokesman of Binay, on Friday said the Vice President would continue to work even harder not only to reach out to the people but more important to help them fight poverty.
“Vice President Binay remains grateful for the trust and support of our people. He is offering to them a decisive and compassionate presidency that will address their concerns, with poverty being his top priority,” Aquicho added in a statement.
Quicho said their camp expects the demolition by perception being waged by lethargic
candidates will be stepped up with the Vice President’s rising survey ratings but maintained that it will not stop Binay from serving the people.
The Vice President, based on the Pulse Asia survey conducted from February 15 to 20, is tied with independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe at the top spot with 25 percent voter preference.
His February rating was two points higher than his rating last January where he was statistically tied in second place with Liberal Party standard- bearer Manuel Roxas 2nd and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Poe said she was surprised with the survey results showing that she remains the top choice of most Filipinos despite the alleged black propaganda against her.
Poe, who was in Zamboanga City on Friday, added that she remains grateful to the Filipino voting public for their continued trust and confidence even with a pending disqualification case against her before the Supreme Court.
“The survey shows that many Filipinos believe in the message of the Gobyernong may Puso (Government with a Heart),” Poe said, referring to her battlecry.
Despite topping the latest survey, however, the senator, among the presidential aspirants, suffered the biggest decline in ratings at 26 percent or four points lower than her January rating of 30 percent.
Poe said she is not bothered by the decline because it only shows that she needs to work hard and reach out to more people.
Leading vice presidential candidate Senator Francis Escudero, Poe’s running mate, is also not bothered by the drop on his ratings and he still considers it as a big achievement, considering that he remains ahead of other candidates particularly Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“I’m always running scared and never complacent even with my good ratings because the reality is I’m just a son of a former employee of the father of Senator Marcos,” Escudero said.
On Olango Island in Cebu province, Roxas said he remains confident of winning the May 2016 polls in light of his rivals’ decreasing leads over him.
He sounded upbeat despite trailing Poe and Binay by five and four percentage points, respectively, in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
His rating, though, marked the closest that he got to his opponents.
“We are thankful that the numbers are closing in, and that is due to public support. They don’t want candidates who will deceive them and steal from them. Who would have thought that we would be in this position with 60 to 70 days to go in the campaign? They used to say I am bound to lose,” Roxas said.
“The only sensible survey is on [the]May 9 [elections], and I am confident that our people will choose whom they can trust on their future. I trust in the capability of our people.
They know to separate the good ones from the soiled, those who can build their future,” he added.
Roxas said he is convinced that he can sustain his momentum even if the High Court rules in favor of Poe’s petition to not disqualify her over the citizenship and residency issues.
“I don’t preoccupy myself with these external factors because I don’t have control [over them]and I have nothing to do with [them]. What I do everyday is to present my platform of governance and the public are warmly welcoming it,” he added.
“We have seen the trend. They said I would lose this race, but I gutted it out. I stand for creating jobs and livelihood for our people because it is their future which is at stake here,” Roxas said.
In Puerto Princesa City, Palawan province, Marcos said he was elated over the Pulse Asia poll showing him gaining 3 percentage points and is now statistically tied with close rival and fellow senator Escudero.
“The latest Pulse Asia survey is a reaffirmation that our message for national unity is being accepted by the Filipino people as well as a reflection of the increasing clamor for genuine change through unity,” he noted.
The lawmaker from Ilocos Norte vowed to put more muscle into his barnstorming, saying his “Unity Campaign” message is being absorbed by the electorate.
“But there is still a lot of work to be done before the real survey — the elections in May. We will strive harder to deliver our message to our countrymen, especially our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” he said.
Marcos for almost a month made sorties from his hometown Batac City in Ilocos Norte down to Taal town in Batangas province.
Also on Friday, he flew to Puerto Princesa City and met with the leaders of Palawan.
The senator was welcomed at the airport by Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Vice Gov. Victorino Dennis Socrates.
He also joined a colorful floral parade called “Balayong Festival” (Cherry Blossoms) together with Bayron, Socrates and other city and provincial officials.
Then Marcos proceeded to a covered court near the provincial capitol where supporters heard him talk.
Bayron and comebacking former mayor Edward Hagedorn are both running under the Liberal Party.
On Thursday, Marcos revealed that local chief executives are being prevented “by their bosses” from meeting him during his campaign sorties.
The independent presidential candidate, however, said he was not affected because mayors, governors and other local officials turned into his “silent” supporters.
In fact, last Wednesday and Thursday Marcos met with local officials of Laguna province.
In San Pedro City, Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz, escorted by her husband and former mayor Calixto Cataquiz, welcomed the senator at city hall.
In Santa Rosa City, Mayor Arlene Arcilla and former Biñan mayor Arthur Alonte met Marcos.
When Marcos went to the Binan City Hall, he was met only by its officials minus Mayor Len-len Alonte-Naguit.
When asked where Alonte-Naguiat was, officials said she was in Europe on official business.
It was learned further that a certain “Balsy” called Alonte-Naguit earlier and directed her not to meet Marcos.
When asked who this Balsy was, a source said it was a sister of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“How can I meet him when I am here in Rome?” Alonte-Naguit was quoted to have answered Balsy.
Marcos has been complaining why Malacañang has been hitting him when he is just aiming for the vice presidency.
Presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also remained unfazed by the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokeman, said their camp was “heartened and inspired” by the overwhelming support of the people.
“On the ground, we are heartened and inspired by the positive and overwhelming responses from the people since we hit the campaign trail,” Laviña noted in a statement.
According to him, the survey “does not reflect what we believe are the real sentiments of Filipinos.”
“We have seen our numbers steadily advancing overall. But we have also seen where we are weak and need to catch up, as well as recognize, where we are making great headway,” he said.
“The recent Pulse Asia survey results give us more encouragement to work harder on the ground, motivated by the trust of the people in Rodrigo Duterte’s political agenda of genuine change for Filipinos and the country,” he said.
“We will remain remain vigilant and be on the lookout and will continue to work very hard for the victory of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the May 2016 presidential elections,” Lavina added.