Binay slides but still No. 1

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Even with his ratings dropping by 10 percentage points amid corruption allegations, Vice President Jejomar Binay remains the top contender for the 2016 presidential polls, according to the latest survey by Pulse Asia.

The presidential survey, taken from Sept. 8 to 15, showed that 31 percent of Filipinos would still vote for Binay as president, down from 41 percent last June.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the presumptive standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, saw his ratings improve but still came in a distant second with 13 percent. He was followed by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (11 percent), former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (10 percent) and Sen. Grace Poe (10 percent).

Sen. Francis Escudero received five percent followed by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. with four percent, former vice president Noli de Castro (three percent), and former senator Richard Gordon (two percent).

Former senator Panfilo Lacson, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. obtained one percent each.

According to Pulse Asia, Binay is the leading presidential candidate in the rest of Luzon (32 percent), Metro Manila (33 percent), and Mindanao (33 percent) as well as in Classes D and E (32 percent and 33 percent, respectively).

Almost the same percentages expressed the same level of support for Binay and Roxas in the Visayas, 27 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

The best-off Class ABC would vote for Binay and Santiago, 23 percent and 17 percent, respectively, Pulse Asia said.

Poe tops VP race

Poe, meanwhile, remained as the top vice presidential bet for 2016, garnering 31 percent of the votes of 1,200 respondents.

Escudero was in second place with 19 percent followed by Cayetano with nine percent, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (seven percent).

Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Marcos received six percent each.

Senate President Franklin Drilon and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada obtained five percent each.

Revilla and Robredo got three percent each while businessman Manuel Pangilinan received two percent.

Senators Revilla and Estrada are currently detained while facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the alleged multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Sotto, Pangilinan lead Senate bets

Pulse Asia said 15 out of the 57 personalities included in its survey’s senatorial probe have a statistical chance of winning.

Sharing a ranking of 1st to 6th places are Sen. Vicente Sotto III (51.6 percent) and presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization Francis Pangilinan (51.5 percent).

Roxas (47.6 percent) was ranked 1st to 9th places while Marcos (47.2 percent), Lacson (47.1 percent), and Gordon (45.9 percent) occupied the 1st to 10th slots.

Sharing the 3rd to 10th places are Santos (44.5 percent), Sen. Ralph Recto (44.1 percent), and Drilon (42.6 percent).

Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri ranked 4th to 10th places with 41.5 percent.

Completing the list of probable senatorial winners are former senator Jamby Madrigal (35.9 percent, 11th to 15th places), Sen. Sergio Osmeña III (35.4 percent, 11th to 15th places), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (35.3 percent, 11th to 15th places), Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao (31.3 percent, 11th to 16th places), and former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros (30.7 percent, 11th to 16th places).

Pulse Asia said only one percent of Filipinos do not support any of the 57 personalities included in the senatorial electoral probe.

It said most Filipinos or 71 percent have a complete senatorial slate for the May 2016 polls.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted amid ongoing Senate investigation into the reported overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, with witnesses claiming, among other things, that the bidding for the project was rigged to favor Hillmarc’s Construction Corp. and that Binay received kickbacks from various Makati City projects while serving as its local chief executive.

Pleasant surprise

Binay’s party, the United Nationalist Alliance, yesterday expressed surprise over the continuous good showing of Binay in the latest Pulse Asia survey.

UNA interim president Toby Tiangco said they were expecting a bigger decline in Binay’s acceptance and popularity ratings amid attacks against him and his family.

Tiangco said the survey results only show that the people still believe in Binay, adding that administration allies are only trying to discredit the Vice President.

Corruption still a major issue

Malacañang, for its part, expressed belief yesterday that corruption would still be a major issue during the 2016 presidential elections.

“As I’ve said before, the political landscape is still very fluid. A lot of things can still happen between now and 2016. But the results are very significant in relation to the Vice President. It’s definitely a result of the Senate investigation into the alleged corruption of the Vice President and his family,” presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas said, referring to the decline in Binay’s rating.

“Corruption will still be a dominant issue going into 2016. If the Vice President will be unable to confront these issues head on and convincingly, his ratings may continue to unravel,” Llamas said.

On the other hand, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was mum about the survey ratings and said President Aquino has still no choice for his successor in 2016.

“The President has his own yardstick in choosing his preferred candidate and that was mentioned in his (State of the Nation Address) – the one who will undoubtedly continue the reforms that he has started,” Lacierda said.

He said while surveys on presidential contenders are of keen interest to the public, the Palace remains committed to the President’s principles of good governance.– With Jose Rodel Clapano, Aurea Calica









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