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Opinion

Let’s talk politics in the senatorial race

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

In Cebu, we have Klarohay Ta Mega Cebu Candidates Forum which have been ongoing for the last two weeks with senatorial candidates, many of whom we didn’t even know who they were because what we know are the candidates who are in the top 12 list whose names appear in most election surveys. But many senatorial candidates still come to Cebu to attend the forum simply because it has been noted that Cebu has one of the largest voting populations in the entire country with 3.2 million voters. Tomorrow’s Klarohay Ta will focus only on partylist candidates.

 

Meanwhile, re-electionist Sen. Grace Poe remained on top of the latest Pulse Asia survey in the race for the Senate in the coming midterm elections. This very same survey showed a significant increase in the rankings of the candidates backed by President Rodrigo Duterte. They are seen as surging to higher spots in a span of one month. While Grace Poe has remained on top, she was followed by Sen. Cynthia Villar. But the big surprise of the month was former Presidential Assistant to the President Bong Go who jumped to the third to fifth spot compared to his sixth to 12th ranking last January. Around 53 percent of respondents said they would vote for Bong Go. I must say that it was his creation of the Malasakit Centers all over the country!

Another big surprise was former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa, who was at the 11th to 16th spot in January, but has since ad-vanced to the survey’s 5th to 8th for February. I learned from the news report that Bato, who held the Bureau of Corrections chief post prior to joining the Senate race, had a voter preference of 44.6 percent.

Another sharp increase from among Duterte’s people was former political adviser Francis Tolentino who ranked 11th to 15th in the latest survey. In the January poll, Tolentino was ranked 17th to 18th. This means, that the frequent endorsement of Pres. Duterte of these three people have greatly helped in improving their Senatorial standings as the Senatorial race rambles on.

Meanwhile in the so-called Anti-Duterte Team that calls itself Otso-Deretso, former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Chief Mar Roxas was the only bet from the opposition who entered the Magic 12. I have been asking Mar Roxas why he bought a Mahindra vehicle from India at a price higher than a Toyota Fortuner. To date, we haven’t heard from Mar Roxas, but what we learned is that the police who were using those Mahindra vehicles are complaining about the poor quality of this Made-in-India vehicles. Mar Roxas still has a lot of explaining to do not just to the police but also to us the voters!

The other issue that Mar Roxas has not explained to the voters especially to the hundreds of thousands of commuters in Metro Manila who take the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) everyday is why he did not renew the Sumitomo company that maintained the MRT. The firm did a good job. But Sumitomo was replaced by a company that did not even have a track record in fixing light rail system. So with Metro Manilans not voting for Roxas who will definitely be going to get zero votes in Tacloban, I seriously doubt if Roxas would become a senator.

Mind you, his fellow opposition bets also have not figured well in the recent surveys, though lawyer Chel Diokno who ranked 24th to 31st in the January survey surged to the 22nd to 27th spot in the February poll. While this is a good sign of his sliding upwards, however it is still too far from the Magic 12. Former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares also jumped to the 19th to 23rd rank from January’s 24th to 29th spot.

The latest survey was conducted among 1,800 Filipino adults using face-to-face interviews from February 25 to 28. The respondents were allowed to give multiple responses up to 12 names.

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For email responses to this article, write to [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

ELECTION

SENATORIAL RACE

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