Noy’s endorsement helped Mar’s survey ratings – Palace
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang credited yesterday the surprising 18-percent increase in the survey ratings of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas to President Aquino’s endorsement last July 31.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. quelled doubts on how the survey questions were crafted, saying the endorsement explained the sudden rise and why only Roxas gained the biggest ratings improvement among candidates.

In the latest SWS survey, neophyte Sen. Grace Poe remained on top after gaining only five points from her 42 percent ratings in June, followed by Roxas, who jumped from 21 to 39 points in the same period, and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who ranked third with 35 percent, up by one from June’s 34 points.

In effect, Roxas – who usually lags behind in surveys – suddenly overtook Binay.

Even Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, whose popularity is surging among all classes, obtained barely an increase in the fourth place – where his ratings dropped to 16 percent in the latest SWS survey despite his 20 percent in June.

Several quarters criticized the SWS survey, which reportedly asked 1,200 respondents to give three names of Aquino’s likely successor when a successor can only refer to one person. They believed it is a subtle way of swaying voter’s opinions.

Leo Larroza, SWS information officer, defended the questionnaire, saying the results do not substitute for the actual election process.

He said the survey aims to get the people’s preferred leaders to succeed Aquino and not the candidate who would win the 2016 presidential elections.

“We are reporting it as it is. We were asking (for) the best leaders (to succeed Aquino in 2016), that exact question. Nowhere in that question is the word ‘vote’,” Larroza explained in a phone interview.

He added that they have been using the question, both in English and Filipino, in their presidential surveys since 2007.

“Everyone is free to interpret the data. It’s not trying to substitute the actual election process,” he said.

Larroza said 45 percent of the 1,200 respondents gave one name, 31 percent gave two names and 17 percent gave three names of their preferred successor of Aquino.

Mar to overtake Grace

Some lawmakers allied with the administration expected Roxas to overtake Poe’s ratings in the coming presidential surveys in a “slow and steady” pace.

Reps. Francis Gerald Abaya of Cavite and Xavier Jesus Romualdo of Camiguin said Roxas’ out-of-town sorties resulted in the leapfrog ratings.

“The trend (Roxas’ increasing ratings) is going up. The slow and steady climb is what we’re after. But the most important thing for us is the May 2016 elections,” Romualdo said.

Abaya said Filipinos are finally getting to know Roxas and appreciate his credentials. He said Roxas is a “silent worker but very warm when you get to know him.”                                       

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice predicts Roxas will overtake Poe by the end of the year or early next year.

“It’s just a matter of time. Secretary Mar will be No. 1. I think the people realized that he has the qualities we’re all looking for – integrity, competence and experience,” he said.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez said they (allies) will work doubly hard to keep the momentum and sustain the rise in ratings.

He added the rise in ratings proves Roxas’ visits to communities are working and that people are now appreciating the gains of the daang matuwid (straight path) program of the Aquino administration.  – With Jess Diaz, Paolo Romero

ACIRC AQUINO CALOOCAN CITY REP EDGAR ERICE ENGLISH AND FILIPINO EVEN DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE FRANCIS GERALD ABAYA OF CAVITE AND XAVIER JESUS ROMUALDO OF CAMIGUIN NBSP PERCENT RATINGS ROXAS
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