Survey shows Villar is fake pro-poor bet, says Erap camp
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of former President Joseph Estrada said the results of the latest Pulse Asia survey showed that voters are realizing that Sen. Manny Villar is a pseudo pro-poor candidate.
In an interview Friday on ANC’s Dateline Philippines, Estrada’s campaign manager Ernesto Maceda said the 6 percentage point drop in Villar’s rating in the February 21-25 Pulse Asia survey, and the 6 percentage point increase in support for Estrada, showed that voters see the former president as the “real maka-mahirap” (true pro-poor candidate).
Maceda said the latest survey showed Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III “static” at 36-37% while Villar declined from 35% in January 22-26 to 29% in the February 21-25 survey.
On the other hand, Estrada went up from 12% in January 22-26 to 18% in February 21-25.
“We’re the one going up sustainably,” he said.
Villar and Estrada have the same pro-poor focus in the presidential campaign, and they also have the same campaign color, orange.
Instead of competing with Villar in ad spending, Maceda said Estrada has resorted to meeting voters directly, citing their just concluded 4-day sortie in the Visayas.
Erap to peak just in time?
Assuming Estrada continues to climb 6 percentage points each in the succeeding surveys, Maceda said Estrada will be hitting 30%, just the right time to peak for the May 10 elections.
He said any increase in Estrada’s ratings will be at the expense of either Aquino or Villar. He said they have studies which show that the support for Aquino and Villar is not “die hard,” meaning voters can still change their mind in the next two months.
Maceda said Estrada will not be eating into the base of the laggards in the presidential race, such as Bangon Pilipinas’ Bro. Eddie Villanueva, since these are their small core votes.
He said the survey results confirmed their belief that it is bad to peak in the surveys too early, as what happened to Aquino.
Maceda said Aquino had the support of over 50% of the public after his mother Corazon Aquino died in August 2009, but this has since gone down to 36% in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
He said Estrada’s rise in the survey is partly because they have been able to belie the black propaganda that Estrada would withdraw from the race.
Maceda said there were no new offers for Estrada to withdraw, but added that if there was, it would come from Villar, and no one else. “It’s only Villar who would have to resources to reimburse campaign expenses,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes told ANC’s Dateline Philippines on Friday that it would be wrong to say that the respondents who used to be for Villar went for Estrada in the February 21-25 survey.
This is because the 1,800 respondents in the February 21-25 survey are different from the respondents in the January 22-26 survey.
Holmes said the only correlation one can make from the 6 percentage point increase in support for Estrada and the 6 percentage point drop in Villar is that the rise and fall happened during the same survey period.
Holmes said the latest survey also showed that Aquino maintained his preference rating at 36%, statistically the same as in the previous survey.
He said the survey also showed a resurgence in support for Estrada in Mindanao, with nearly one in three respondents in Mindanao choosing Estrada.