POSTSCRIPT / December 24, 2015 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Opinion Columnist

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Binay bounces back in SWS, Pulse polls

IF SURVEYS are any indication, while the demolition hearings of the Senate yellow ribbon subcommittee may have dented the reputation of Vice President Jojo Binay they have not knocked him out of the May 2016 presidential elections.

Last Tuesday, Binay topped the nationwide survey of Pulse Asia, garnering 33 percent of the respondents nationwide as against second placer Davao Mayor Rody Duterte (23 percent) and early survey leader Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares (21 percent).

Right after Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” came out, Binay tied with Poe for first place in the survey of the Social Weather Stations, both of them garnering 26 percent of 1,200 respondents nationwide.

The camp of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas, the anointed one of President Noynoy Aquino, could only say that their bet’s SWS third-place showing (22 percent) has been consistently strong and that the only survey that really matters is that one on Election Day.

Latecomer Duterte, who had barged from down South to join the lead pack with his tough talk had dropped to fourth place in the SWS survey at 20 percent. In the Pulse Asia polls, he was in second place.

If Duterte does not temper his tongue, we think he might just blabber himself out of contention.

The surveys seem to validate the theory that Binay has a solid base of 23-25 percent of the votes and that all he has to do is glide silently like a submarine with a growing following in tow.

But Binay may just flounder, what with administration operators reportedly plotting to eliminate him by filing charges and having him suspended and detained without bail.

In this predicament, he is not alone. Detractors of early survey leader senator Poe have succeeded in having the Commission on Elections disqualify her for allegedly not being a natural-born citizen and a 10-year resident of the Philippines.

Mayor Duterte, another popular candidate, may also just be stricken off the list like Poe. The Comelec is under pressure to also disqualify him for using, in substitution, a defective certificate of candidacy of his party’s erstwhile presidential candidate.

The Comelec has voted in full bench to uphold the rulings of its first and second divisions disqualifying Poe. The voting was 5-2 to deny her motion for reconsideration of the first division ruling. The second division’s adverse vote was 5-1-1, also for her disqualification.

Insisting she was still a viable candidate for president, Poe vowed to elevate the disqualification case to the Supreme Court. She has less than a week to secure an SC order suspending enforcement of the Comelec disqualification ruling. With the holidays, time for that may be limited.

But the bigger problem actually is if the Comelec includes Poe’s name in the ballot and she whips up enough sympathy votes to win the presidency in May next year – and then the Supreme Court belatedly rules that she was not qualified to run in the first place.

In the crazy world of Philippine politics, such bizarre scenarios just pop up.

Chiz tops vice presidential surveys

WHILE Poe’s candidacy appears to be fading, the star of her vice presidential partner Sen. Chiz Escudero has been rising in the surveys.

In the SWS survey, Escudero was No. 1 with 30 percent. Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo were tied in second place with 19 percent. Sen. Alan Cayetano got 17 percent, while Sen. Gringo Honasan scored 8 percent.

Note the nationwide results of the parallel Pulse Asia survey: Escudero, 29 percent; Marcos, 23 percent; Cayetano, 18 percent; and Robredo, 14 percent. The other vice presidential candidates included in the polls each recorded voter preferences of at most 9 percent.

In the Pulse Asia survey conducted Dec. 4-11, the question asked in the interview was “Of the people on this list, whom would you vote for as President of the Philippines if the 2016 elections were held today and they were candidates?”

(Sa mga taong nasa listahang ito, sino ang inyong iboboto bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas kung ang eleksyon ng 2016 ay gaganapin ngayon at sila ay mga kandidato?)

The 13 names on the list shown to respondents were taken from the COCs submitted to Comelec last Oct. 12 – 16 by the candidates.

Only 1 percent of the respondents were either not inclined to support any of the presidentiables included in this survey or still do not know whom they will vote for as president. Less than 1 percent declined to identify their preferred presidential bet.

Across geographic areas, Duterte had a clear lead (43 percent) in Mindanao over the other candidates. In Metro Manila, the highest scorers were Binay (30 percent), Duterte (27 percent), and Poe (21 percent). In the rest of Luzon, Binay (34 percent) and Poe (29 percent) were at the top. Leading in the Visayas were Binay (34 percent) and Roxas (27 percent).

In the socio-economic classes, Binay topped in Classes D and E (30 and 42 percent, respectively). In Class ABC, the four leaders were Duterte (28 percent), Roxas (22 percent), Binay (20 percent) and Poe (19 percent).

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NOTA BENE: We wish our readers a happy and blessed Christmas! Thank you for following us in this corner even when you disagree with our views – and for not resorting to ad hominem when taking issue with us.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of December 24, 2015)

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