The race for No. 2 shaping up: It’s Roxas vs Binay
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr., Norman Bordadora, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SOLANO, NUEVA VIZCAYA, Philippines—“Let them have a good fight for No. 2.”
This was the message of Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II to his rivals Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).
Roxas has been at the forefront of the vice presidential race, according to surveys conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia, with Legarda occupying the second slot and Binay in third place.
“The numbers of my partner are consistent. He has a huge lead which will get bigger in the coming days,” LP standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III told reporters.
“They (Legarda and Binay) can fight for the No. 2 slot but what is important is being No. 1 and maintaining it,” Aquino added.
An SWS survey conducted March 19-22 showed Roxas with a 42 percent voter preference. Legarda, a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition but running under the NP slate, was at 25 percent and Binay at 21 percent.
Roxas was also at the top of the Pulse Asia survey for the March 21-28 period with 43 percent. Legarda was second at 23 percent while Binay had 19 percent.
There was some chest thumping Friday in the camp of Binay, who has been endorsed by Sen. Francis Escudero, a former leader of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
A new survey carried out by a firm named LA Research showed that while Roxas was leading in the vice presidential contest with 41.4 percent, Binay had taken over second place with 27.3 percent while Legarda had dropped to third with 22.9 percent, a press release from the Binay camp said.
Registered with SEC
The Binay camp said the face-to-face survey was conducted on April 15 among 6,900 respondents and commissioned by radio network dzRH. It had a margin of error of plus-minus 1.1 percent.
The Binay camp described LA Research as a Manila-based group of pollsters that has been doing surveys for the radio station in the run-up to the May 10 elections.
A check by Inquirer Research shows that a company called LA Research Info Center is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to “undertake or engage in marketing and consumer research.”
Advice to Aquino
In its survey, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Bayani Fernando and ex-Optical Media Board Chair Edu Manzano were tied for fourth and fifth with 2.9 percent each.
Respondents representing 1.1 percent are undecided, according to the survey.
As the campaign headed into the homestretch, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s election lawyer had a piece of unsolicited advice for Aquino: Reject Escudero’s endorsement if it would hurt your running mate’s candidacy.
Lawyer Romeo Macalintal warned Aquino that he risked being called an “ingrate” and losing his friendship with Roxas if he accepted Escudero’s endorsement.
“If he’s a gentleman enough, he should not accept that kind of endorsement,” Macalintal said by phone. “That is a challenge to his leadership, as to whether he would abandon his running mate for his own political benefit.”
“If he (Aquino) could refuse an endorsement from the Ampatuans because it is disastrous to his career, why can’t he refuse an endorsement from Escudero, which is disastrous to the political stand of his running mate?” Macalintal said.
“An honorable man like Mar Roxas deserves to be respected and not deserted by his supposed partner,” he added.
Escudero has picked Aquino for president while supporting Binay for vice president. He says an Aquino-Binay tandem would provide a better balance of governance since one is from the legislature, while the other comes from the executive.
Macalintal reminded Aquino that it would be the “height of ingratitude” if he went along with Escudero’s endorsement given the “political sacrifice” made by Roxas in giving way to Aquino’s presidential aspirations.
Reciprocity among friends
“Noynoy’s acceptance of Escudero’s support (would) expose his low regard for friendship,” Macalintal said. “The reciprocity among friends should be preserved by the party.”
Roxas dropped his presidential ambitions and agreed to run for vice president after Aquino decided to take a crack at the No. 1 post. With Inquirer Research