• Will Binay win?

    24

    Vice-President Jejomar Binay’s surge to top the most recent voter surveys last month may have surprised even seasoned political pundits. But it shouldn’t, for there are clear factors driving the shift of support to the VP, after a year of losing ground.

    After falling to a low of 21 percent last November, from 37 percent a year before, Binay’s rating rebounded to 26 percent in December and 31 percent early this month in Social Weather Stations’ voter preference surveys.

    Leading rival Senator Grace Poe saw her 42 percent grade last June drop to 24 percent seven months later. The ratings of former Secretary Mar Roxas and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte showed little change over the same period, at about one-fifth of voters.

    With such survey swings, the big question for election watchers is: Will Binay stay ahead till May? Leads had been overcome before in the four months till elections, as Gloria Arroyo did over Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004, and Binay himself over Roxas in the 2010 VP race.

    What may make Binay’s lead durable, however, is that the factors apparently behind it could hold unless something dramatic happens. Consider these campaign drivers:

    Poe’s disqualification cases
    In the first half of last year, Poe seemed to gain the votes Binay lost due to administration efforts to raise corruption issues against him. In Pulse Asia’s poll last June, Poe overtook erstwhile topnotcher Binay, surging to 30 percent from single-digit ratings just six months before.

    But with her disqualification cases prospering in the Commission on Elections in recent months, many of her backers seem to have gone to Binay and Duterte.

    In December’s Pulse poll, Poe ranked third, with 21 percent of respondents choosing her, well behind Binay’s 33 percent and statistically tied with Duterte’s 23 percent. SWS surveys this month and last affirmed the trend, as reported above.

    All this could change, of course, if the Supreme Court reverses the Comelec’s ruling late last year invalidating Poe’s certificate of candidacy for failing to satisfy citizenship and residency qualifications. The senator’s supporters underscored the impact of DQ decisions in recent broadcast ads asserting that the High Court would let her run as it did her adoptive father FPJ in 2004.

    That prospect, however, faces a tough challenge: three senior justices have ruled in a Senate Electoral Tribunal case against Poe that she is not a natural-born Filipino, as required for both the presidency and the Senate.

    The three were outvoted by five of the six senators in the SET, which allowed Poe to keep her Senate seat. But High Court magistrates may be swayed by their most senior colleagues’ constitutional views rather than political considerations.

    Binay’s loyalist and LGU support
    Another factor in Binay’s rise likely to continue is the solid base of public support, which has kept his ratings above 20 percent even through the worst attacks of administration politicians and media. A similar Arroyo loyalist core kept the faith in years of vilification.

    Binay supporters have rebuffed corruption accusations, helping limit the impact on their family, friends and associates. And after the attacks subsided in recent months, these faithful won even more voters to their ranks.

    Along with a solid core of supporters on the ground, Binay also cultivated friends and allies among leaders of local government units over the decades since then President Corazon Aquino named him Makati mayor in 1987.

    These LGU allies and their grassroots operatives have also helped counter attacks against the VP. Their number will likely swell with his return to top poll position, plus the Senate’s decision on Tuesday to end its Binay hearings with no final report made public.

    The senators’ action points to a further apparent development: administration stalwarts are quietly shifting to Binay or at least staying neutral to avoid antagonizing a future president. They may include those in the Samar faction of Aquino’s ruling clique, who supported his 2010 unofficial “Noy-Bi” tandem with Binay.

    Limited gains for Roxas and Duterte
    While Binay gained from Poe’s drop, Roxas didn’t. No surprise. The senator’s backers don’t care much for the administration; that’s why they want her. So when she dropped, her erstwhile supporters went for Binay and Duterte.

    The limited administration appeal is no surprise either. While pro-Aquino media have kept his own ratings up, stubbornly high poverty rates, the horrendous Metro Manila traffic and commuter trains, dismal disaster response and recovery efforts, and Aquino’s dogged support for corruption-tainted allies have tarnished Daang Matuwid. Yet Roxas keeps using it in his ads.

    As for Duterte, his gains upon filing his certificate of candidacy after months of apparent hesitation, have plateaued. Many like his tough talk against crime, drugs and corruption. But repeated remarks on using violence against crooks, and on the mayor’s personal life may have alarmed or appalled religious and traditional voters.

    Moreover, the Davao mayor’s media spending, if not his campaign kitty, is nowhere near those of Binay, Poe and Roxas so far. Ditto Duterte’s nationwide links with LGU leaders and legislators, though that could quickly change if he hits the top of the charts with an insurmountable lead. Even then, four months may not be enough time to catch up on the funding and network fronts.

    Lastly, Duterte’s policy pronouncements have yet to broaden much beyond crime and graft issues, limiting his appeal among sectors with other major concerns like the economy, national security, education, and poverty. He will expound on these matters eventually, but that would only be playing catch-up.

    So bottom line: Poe still faces disqualification, Roxas and Duterte have yet to really surge, and Binay backers are up. If these trends continue and no surprise development derails the VP in the next 13 weeks, he may well be on the path to Malacañang Palace.

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    24 Comments

    1. gabriel bagonoc on

      Yes…for binay ! Since nobody is pure in th phils. Politics ( lets be realistic ) but there where proven fighter in such way , a human rights fighter if could remember…that is VP Binay!

    2. A Binay presidency is disaster for the Philippines. It set as back from a deep hole and it will take us decades to recover again.

    3. Billy ray villarin on

      GO BINAY…. hindi lang maingay sa social media ang mga supporters ni vp binay pero malakas at madami kami… Hindi katulad ng mga supporter ni duterte parang aldub malakas mang bash… Kung bangga sa tweet lang sila mananalo walang value pag dating sa boto..

    4. Billy ray villarin on

      go BINAY…. tanggapin nyo na malakas at maraming supporter si binay.. Hindi lang kami maingay sa social media kasi yung mga supporter ni duterte parang aldog tahol ng tahol

    5. Cynthia Eufemio on

      Binay will win. After the 26th hearings, and witness just got their accusation through Inquirer as per statement of Atty Bondal, he will surely land in Malacanang.

      • Kawawa ang Pilipinas pag si Binay ang maging presidente. Huwag na kayong umasa na uunlad ang bayan. Harap harapan ang pagnanakaw at tatanga at tutulala nalang ang bumoto kay Binay.

    6. Based from surveys , Binay has a 25 to 30 percent solid vote. Whoever they are , I really do not care. The 75 to 70 percent vote will be divided by Mar, Grace and Duterte. If the 3 equally divide the votes , Binay will win in a very small margin. If that happens, there will be mass protests in the streets and I really do not know what will happen. This is only one scenario if Binay wins. I love this country. I pray that Binay lose

      • I toTally agree w/ you. I do nOt agree w/ manila times article
        . they are too pro binay. looks like there are still binay billions going around. SA MAGNANAKAW AKO BOBOTO.

    7. pakialamero na pinoy on

      If the frozen bank accounts of Limlingan and Baloloy, some P11 Billion, is realeased by the government before May election, Binay will win the Presidency for sure.

    8. yes that’s true…unfortunately…but if only those bisaya speaking people will be solid to Duterte in my opinion Duterte will make it to the Palace. Bisaya speaking people is much larger than Ilocano and tagalog combined.

    9. Having Trillanes, Pimentel, Cayetano and Guingona as Binay’s wrecking crew kuno did not succeed as these are the most antipatiko in the senate !
      Even Drilon will shine in comparison.

    10. will binay win? are filipinos retarded? yes of course binay has a good chance of winning. this country has plenty of retarded people to vote for him

      • Hijo, hindi pork boto ang tao kay Jojo ay retarded na. Maybe, that kind of wishful thinking you just exhibited is essentially a reflection of a retarded personality. One factor that my have shifted preference to Jojo is the rebound from those incessant senate hearings that produced nothing to indict the guy. The choice for the underdog is a normal cultural trait. Second, a comparison of the three well-known candidates makes Jojo the better alternative based on local governance experience, academic qualifications and organizational ability aside from the rapport that his physique elicits from the masa. This is not to state my personal vote for the guy because I can not vote having no biometrics that they have required of all voters.

      • please refrain from using such a word mr/ms arammara…because madami din po na mga taong mas mataas pa ang pinag aralan at narating sa buhay siguro kumpara sayo na sabihan mong retarded kasi gusto nila ang isang binay na maging presidente…wala ka pong karapatan para mag comment ng ganyan. hayaan lang po natin sila kasi gusto nila eh. now, kung ayaw mong iboto ang tao na ito – manahimik na lang po kayo, pwede? IT REFLECTS TULOY NA DIKA MAN LANG TINURUAN NG MAGANDANG ASAL NG MAGULANG MO….

    11. I strongly believe there is no valid reason to disqualify grace poe since prevailing doctrines and applicable laws and jurisprudence all points that she is necessarily a natural-born Filipino.

      Binay will lost 1st place once Poe’s cases will be dismissed. I believe that will be the case.

    12. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      27 January 2016

      I agree with this assessment of Manila Times columnist RICARDO SALUDO on the chances of JEJOMAR BINAY eventually being elected President.

      He may not be the ideal candidate, especially considering the rumors and charges of corruption that have swirled over his head, but his rivals are now far behind in the national polls because they don’t have the kind of mass appeal that Binay enjoys.

      Grace Poe Llamanzares’ poll numbers are tanking because judging by the oral arguments in the Supreme Court lately, there is a very good chance that the Court will affirm the COMELEC decision to DISQUALIFY her.

      MARIANO PATALINJUG
      patalinjugmar@gmail.com

      • Let’s wait for the result of election. Binay is still under investigation. I am hoping our country will have the most qualified president and less corrupt.

    13. One thing is for sure – Mar ‘fair lady’ Roxas will lose, and have lots of time for his young Eliza ‘do-little, get millions of pesos’.

    14. Carlos de Castro on

      I don’t think Binay will ever win in any elction. I believe FILIPINOS are not that stupid to make their leader with a plunderer charge hanging over his head. The silent majority says its the other guy.Binay should produce fisrt Jerry Limlingan and his personal secretsry to answere all the charges against them, unless, then he is guilty.

      as

      • Totally agree! He will only win if his buddies who owns huge properties in Makati will cheat or do unscrupulous acts. You should know who they are.