A prospective candidate’s integrity is more important that his or her ranking in popularity surveys.
Malacañang on Friday made this statement as the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released its own presidential preference survey, which also showed Sen. Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares dislodging long-time front-runner Vice President Jejomar Binay from his perch.
Its deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said President Benigno Aquino 3rd will endorse somebody “who has the character to be able to continue the reforms that the President has started.”
“Surveys are always part of your changing political landscape as we mentioned, but… more important, the primary concern really for the President is who has the integrity,” Valte told reporters.
Pulse Asia, which released its survey results a day ahead of SWS,also showed Poe taking the lead.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, the presumptive standard-bearer of the Liberal Party and Aquino’s running mate in the 2010 elections, continues to trail Poe and Binay.
Roxas placed 4th in the Pulse Asia survey and 3rd in the SWS poll.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is 3rd in the Pulse Asia survey.
The President has reportedly been convincing Poe to team up with Roxas in next year’s elections.
In the SWS survey, Poe notched 42 percent as against Binay’s 34 percent while 21 percent prefer Roxas.
Poe on Friday reiterated her statement that she was “truly humbled” by the latest SWS results.
“I am very grateful that more people appreciate the kind of public service that I strive to uphold–transparent, honest and efficient,” Poe said in a statement.
Binay’s camp, meanwhile, remains optimistic that the drop in his ratings would not affect his run for the presidency.
Also in a statement, Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said the Vice President is thankful for the unwavering support of the people as reflected in the SWS survey.
“The campaign continues to learn from the ground and adjust its efforts accordingly. The Vice President respects the survey results,” Salgado added.
He said Binay sees the surveys as barometers of the pulse of the public at a certain point.
“He will continue to listen to the people,” Salgado added.
Reacting to earlier Pulse Asia survey results, Binay’s camp said the development serves as a “wake-up call” for them. In the Pulse Asia survey, Binay scored 22 percent while Poe had 30 percent.
The attempt of Binay’s allies to get rid of Poe by casting doubt on her qualification backfired on the Vice President as shown in the latest survey results, political analyst Ramon Casiple told The Manila Times.
Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), said he sees no other reason why Binay’s ratings would dip that far other than the move of the United Nationalist Alliance to assail Poe’s residency status.
He added that the residency issue is not a political issue but merely a question on her qualification to run for a higher post next year, which subject should have been left to the Commission on Elections and the courts to decide.
“Maybe some people got disappointed with [Binay] for raising that kind of issue against somebody who has not even expressed any intention to run in 2016,” Casiple said. “These issues [citizenship and residency]are not like corruption issues which are very crucial to the people,” he added.
Temario Rivera, former chairman of the University of the Philippines Department of Political Science, said Binay should answer corruption allegations against him if he wants to regain his spot in the popularity race.
Bobby Tuazon of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) said Poe is not really a traditional politician and that the young people are looking for new leaders.
“We look for a President [who]will give national unity, [is]pro-poor and [who]has knowledge in government,” Tuazon added.
WITH JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA AND IZA GABRIELLE IGLESIAS