Grace Poe tops senatorial poll; Sara Duterte in

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Grace Poe tops senatorial poll; Sara Duterte in
First row: Grace Poe, Rank: 1, Cynthia Villar, 2-3, Pia Cayetano, 2-3, Nancy Binay, 4-6 Second row: Sonny Angara, 4-7, Sara Duterte, 4-7, Koko Pimentel, 5-9, Serge Osmeña, 7-12 Third row: Erwin Tulfo, 7-13, Lito Lapid, 8-15, Ronald dela Rosa, 8-15, Jinggoy Estrada, 8-15

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe topped the list of probable winners or the “Magic 12” in the May 2019 elections that also included presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and former Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa, a recent survey by Pulse Asia revealed yesterday.

Pulse Asia said 15 of the 58 individuals included in its senatorial survey would have a statistical chance of winning and enter the Magic 12, if the elections were held during the survey period last March 23 to 28.

Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go and other possible candidates of the administration did not make it to the Top 12.

Based on the latest Pulse Asia survey, Poe took the solo lead, garnering 70.8 percent of votes of 1,200 adult respondents aged 18 years old and above.

Occupying the second to third places were Sen. Cynthia Villar (55.6 percent) and Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano (53.8 percent).

Sen. Nancy Binay grabbed the fourth to sixth places with 45.8 percent of respondents voting for her.

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara and Duterte-Carpio shared the fourth to seventh places Jr., garnering 44.9 percent and 43.8 percent of votes, respectively.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III found himself in fifth to ninth places with 39.8 percent.

Former senator Sergio Osmeña ranked seventh to 12th places with 38 percent; followed by broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo, who took seventh to 13th slots with 36.7 percent.

Taking the eighth to 15th places were former senator Lito Lapid with 33.8 percent, Dela Rosa with 33.1 percent, and former senator Jinggoy Estrada with 32.8 percent.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos ranked ninth to 15th places with 32.2 percent, followed by Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino, who placed 10th to 19th, with 30.5 percent.

Sen. JV Ejercito obtained 29 percent and was ranked 10th to 19th places.

The nationwide survey has sampaling error margin of plus or minus three percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The other probable administration bets who were outside the winning circle were presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino (14.6 percent, 20th to 26th places), Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles (10.6 percent, 24th to 32nd), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (8.7 percent, 27th to 36th), Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3.7 percent, 36th to 42nd); Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali (2.8 percent, 38th to 50th), Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson (1.3 percent, 40th to 56th), and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman (0.2 percent, 52nd to 58th).

The Pulse Asia survey also found more than half of Filipinos or 57 percent said they already have 12 preferred candidates for the May 2019 senatorial elections.

Go obtained 5.9 percent and placed 28th to 38th.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar recenty disclosed that President Duterte would support Go’s candidacy if the special assistant decides to run for the Senate.

Andanar and other Cabinet members have organized a campaign to encourage Go to run for senator.

Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda said Go’s popularity in social media and his closeness with Duterte has apparently not yet helped boost his ratings nationwide.

Tabunda, however, added Duterte’s endorsement of Go came after the survey.

Go was dubbed as the “Selfie King” for taking photos with world leaders during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila last year.

He is previously known for “photobombing” or appearing unexpectedly in photos of Duterte.

Ejercito welcomed his inclusion in the top 12 senatorial survey but said he has to work harder as his half brother – Jinggoy Estrada – is also planning to run for the Senate.

“I’m hoping that performance, track record, and clean and unblemished record as a public official will help pull it through,” Ejercito said.

Angara said he was grateful for the results of the survey as it would definitely serve as an inspiration for him work harder for Filipinos.

“While I am grateful to our people and humbled by the outcome of the Pulse Asia poll, I would like to assure the public that I will continue to do my job as their senator—with our without the survey,” Angara said.


Senator Aquino of the Liberal Party (LP) stressed yesterday the need to form a strong opposition coalition for the 2019 senatorial elections.

Aquino, the lone member of the opposition in the top 12 of senatorial race of the latest Pulse Asia survey, thanked Filipinos for their continued support.

He said his inclusion in the top 12 was a sign that the Filipino people still acknowledge the need for dissenting voices.

“Many Filipinos have now lost their voice and are no longer able to fight for their principles. The opposition is here to be their voice and defender,” he said.

LP president Sen. Francis Pangilinan said more members of the opposition should be elected to the Senate to serve as vanguard of democracy and advocate of the people’s welfare.

“The polls tell us that we need to work much harder in gaining our people’s trust and this can only be done by ensuring that we place our people’s welfare first as we serve them with our utmost,” Pangilinan said.

Dela Rosa yesterday welcomed the survey of Pulse Asia, saying he would likely win a seat at the Senate.

“I’m flattered but It’s still too early to decide,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa, the incoming director of the Bureau of Corrections, said he is awaiting the order of President Duterte if he will try a career in politics.

“It’s either the Senate or governorship of my province Davao del Sur,” said Dela Rosa.

Malacañang said President Duterte is not meddling with the selection of the senatorial ticket of PDP-Laban. 

“For now, the President does not interfere with the final slot, although he has endorsed some names,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing yesterday. 

Roque, who has been holding press conferences in different parts of the country, was mum on the results of the survey wherein he ranked 27th. 

“I have no reaction on that, because as I said, I leave my political future to fate,” he said.  – With Paolo Romero, Marvin Sy, Alexis Romero, Emmanuel Tupas 

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