• Lawmakers blast “misleading” Pulse Asia for naming them as Senatorial bets

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    Lawmakers who trailed in the Pulse Asia survey on Senatorial preferences for 2016 polls have admonished the survey firm for listing their names without their consent, saying such move is misleading their constituents.

    Reps. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmarinas and Tobias Tiangco of Navotas threw the brickbats at Pulse Asia after the survey firm released its March survey this week showing Barzaga ranking 57th and Tiangco ranking 49th among 60 Senatorial preferences of voters if the 2016 election was held today.

    “With national elections just two years away, Pulse Asia, SWS and other survey firms should not publicly disclose the results of the their survey for those persons who did not consent for that their names to be included in the survey. My constituents who came to know the results of the survey said that since I am number 57 in the survey, I should not aspire to run for the Senate and even if I run, they would not support me because I do not have the chance to win and they do not want to waste their vote by voting for me,” Barzaga said in a text message.

    “It is fair and essential that those who did not gave their consent in including their names in the survey because surveys can be for trending purposes or to condition the minds of the people regarding the strength or weakness of a particular candidate,” Barzaga, a certified public accountant cum lawyer, added.

    Barzaga, a member of the National Union Party which is allied with the Aquino administration, is on his last term as a Dasmarinas representative.

    Tiangco, who is on second term as Navotas representative, backed Barzaga and wrote a letter to Pulse Asia’s Research Director Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda.

    “It has come to my knowledge that my name was included in the aforesaid survey as a possible Senatorial candidate. Please be informed that I have not authorized any person or entity to include my name in your March 2014 survey,” Tiangco said in his letter.

    “Should you plan to release the results of any Senatorial survey conducted by your company, please consider this as an advance notice to exclude my name from any survey results and/or media releases pertaining to your Senatorial survey since I have not authorized anyone to use my name for the purpose of your March 2014 survey,” Tiangco, who was ranked 49th in the Pulse Asia survey in question, added.

    In a separate telephone interview, Tiangco further underscored that Pulse Asia’s move of including the names of individuals in their survey without the individuals’ consent is as good as using other people to make profit since Pulse Asia sells its survey results.

    “Why do they have to include my name when I have repeatedly said that I am not interested in running for the Senate in 2016? Congressman Barzaga is right. Why give the wrong impression to our constituents?,” Tiangco told The Manila Times in an interview.

    “If they will publish a survey, the least that they [Pulse Asia] can do is to ask us first if we have plans to run for the Senate. I have promised the people of Navotas that I will finish my term and run for reelection in 2016. I don’t see the logic of putting my name there,” Tiangco, a member of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, added.

    Rep. Romero Quimbo of Marikina City didn’t protest just as much as Barzaga and Tiangco, noting that his low ranking is only reflective of his stance that he does not want to run for the Senate by 2016.

    Quimbo, a member of the ruling Liberal Party chaired by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, was ranked 60th by Pulse Asia.

    “I have just begun my second term. God willing, I will have another term come 2016. I had committed to my constituents to finish my three terms until 2019. I intend to honor that commitment,” Quimbo, a lawyer, said in a separate text message.

    Quimbo argued that he will be better off running for Marikina Mayor after his Congressional stint so that he can fully utilize his training as a lawyer and an executive.

    Quimbo, however, still prefers that Pulse Asia exclude him from its surveys for 2016.

    “I have always believed in the credibility of Pulse Asia and its methods. I don’t doubt their results. If I may humbly suggest, however, that maybe its best that they give my “slot” in the survey to someone who is actually interested in the gunning for higher office,” Quimbo added in closing.

    LLANESCA T. PANTI

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