IF presidential elections were held today, Vice President Jejomar Binay would win by a landslide.
The latest survey of Pulse Asia showed that Binay would get 40 percent of the votes.
Trailing the Vice President by miles was Sen. Grace Poe, who got 15 percent.
Binay’s reported closest rival for the country’s highest position, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, ranked fifth with only 6 percent. Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who had also expressed interest to run for president, only got 4 percent.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago got 10 percent, Francis Escudero, 9 percent, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., 5 percent, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., 3 percent and former senator and now Presidential Assistant for Recovery Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, 2 percent.
Kris Aquino, who was included by Pulse Asia as among those in the “running,” got 4 percent.
Pulse Asia polled 1,200 respondents in the survey, which was first made public on Rappler.com.
Binay, also the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), had publicly declared his intention to run in the presidential elections in 2016.
After he left his long-time party, Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the Vice President said he will be forming his own political party that will carry his presidential bid.
Binay is one of the three top leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which he formed together with former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
Pulse Asia grouped the presidential choice responses according to economic classes that included ABC for the rich and middle class, D for the lower middle class and E for the poorest.
Binay was the first choice of respondents belonging to the ABC category with 47 percent.
In the D category, he was the first option of 42 percent, but among the poor, he got 34 percent.
In terms of geographical location, Binay was the choice of respondents from the National Capital Region or Metro Manila (38 percent) and the rest of Luzon (44 percent).
He got 35 percent in the Visayas and 37 percent in Mindanao.
Binay had consistently received high ratings in other surveys of Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Stations.
Pulse Asia respondents gave Binay the highest rating of 87 percent in a survey on
“Performance and Trust Ratings of the Top Five Philippine Government Officials and the Performance Ratings of Three Government Institutions” conducted from March 19-26, 2014.
In the SWS survey in the fourth quarter of 2013, 75 percent of those polled said they were satisfied with the performance of the vice president.
Malacañang was unfazed by the Pulse Asia survey, saying President Benigno Aquino 3rd is busy with governance to think of the 2016 presidential elections.
“The Pulse Asia survey is certainly of interest to those who are observing the 2016 presidential elections,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. “But we are focused on addressing the needs of our countrymen,” he pointed out.
“We have 792 days left in this administration to address those concerns. We are currently engaged in governance. And so, we need to make sure that all the reforms that President Aquino wants to implement and institutionalize should happen before 2016, and that’s the focus of our concern right now,” Lacierda said.
He added that the President is yet to choose the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party.
Lacierda earlier said the power of the President’s endorsement is “lethal” and “effective.”
“That’s the reason why whoever the President will anoint will certainly have an advantage,” he added.
With Catherine S. Valente