'Noynoy kin, allies behind Pulse, SWS'
- Jose Rodel Clapano () - May 6, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Relatives and close associates of Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino are directing behind the scenes the surveys being conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia, according to Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) senatorial candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad.

Tatad, citing a research paper and documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said members of the Aquino clan and former associates of the late President Corazon Aquino are directors and stockholders of SWS and Pulse Asia.

Among those named in the SEC documents and research papers were Rafael Cojuangco Lopa and Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco.

Lopa, according to Tatad, was director and president of Pulse Asia until last year when he resigned to camouflage the firm’s support for Aquino’s bid for the presidency, while Cojuangco bankrolled the setting up of Pulse Asia in 1990.

Tatad said it is unusual that former Public Works secretary Jose de Jesus (under the Aquino administration) is an incorporator and director in both Pulse Asia and the SWS.

“This suggests that there was a plan from the beginning by the Aquinos to control public opinion polling in the country,” he said.

Tatad added that with respect to survey practitioners in SWS and Pulse Asia, there is an overlapping of names in the ownership.

He said Felipe Miranda, Rosalinda Miranda, Gemino Abad and Mercedes Abad appear in the SEC records as founders and/or stockholders of both firms.

“Mercedes R. Abad is the president of TRENDS-MBL, which has been conducting the field research for both SWS and Pulse Asia until recently,” he said.

Tatad also divulged that the details of the interlocking directorships in the survey firms was first disclosed by Prof. Alfredo Sureta in a paper released in December 2009, but only brought to light in the Internet last week.

He said Sureta called for the establishment of polling firms not owned by an avid Aquino supporter or relative to “enhance not only the credibility of the science of polling in the country, but also to allow a better flow of information to the voting public on the agenda and platforms of the candidates.”

“We have to wonder, given this new information, whether the plan to elect Noynoy Aquino to the presidency was one big plot from the beginning,” Tatad said.

ALFREDO SURETA AQUINO ASIA COJUANGCO FELIPE MIRANDA GEMINO ABAD AND MERCEDES ABAD LIBERAL PARTY MASANG PILIPINO PULSE ASIA TATAD
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