SWS: Binay now tied with Mar; Noynoy widens lead
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) vice presidential candidate Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay has tied with Liberal Party (LP) bet Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II in the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), while LP standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III widened his lead over his rivals, according to a report by the online news agency www.abs-cbnnews.com.
The report said Binay’s rating jumped by 12 percentage points from 25 percent in the April 16-19 survey to 37 percent in May 2-3 survey.
Support for Roxas fell by two percentage points from 39 percent in April to 37 percent in May.
Nacionalista Party (NP) candidate Sen. Loren Legarda’s latest rating dropped to 12 percent from 24 percent last month.
Aquino had widened his lead over his nearest rivals former President Joseph Estrada and NP Sen. Manny Villar in the latest SWS survey.
The latest SWS survey, commissioned by BusinessWorld newspaper and conducted from May 2 to 3, showed that Aquino got the support of 42 percent of the 2,400 respondents in face-to-face interviews.
The website said that the full results of the SWS survey will come out in the BusinessWorld today.
The survey results were posted oyesterrday by television host Kris Aquino-Yap, youngest sister of Aquino, on her official Twitter account.
Estrada obtained 20 percent, followed by Villar with 19 percent.
Administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD got nine percent.
In the Pulse Asia survey conducted April 23-25, Roxas fell to 37 percent from 43 percent in March, while Binay overtook Legarda with a nine-percentage point leap.
The influential religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) on Wednesday endorsed Aquino and Roxas.
The INC, which practices bloc voting, could bring around two million votes for the LP tandem of Aquino and Roxas.
Roxas hits deceptive advertisements
Roxas cried foul yesterday over the deceptive advertisement of his opponent Binay four days before the elections.
He said stooping down to public deception to smear someone’s image was a sign of desperation on the part of his opponents.
Roxas lashed out at Binay “for gross deception, misrepresentation and manipulation of public sentiment” by using in his latest campaign advertisement a doctored photograph of Roxas and President Arroyo during the signing of the senator’s pet bill, the Cheaper Medicine Law, almost two years ago.
In the Binay advertisement, which started airing on television last Wednesday night, an unnamed supporter compared Binay with another vice presidential candidate, allegedly an administration ally who pushed for the expanded value added tax (EVAT) law.
As the audio played in the background, a video was shown with Roxas lauding Mrs. Arroyo while signing a document, with the phrase “Kakampi sa EVAT” printed over the President’s head.
Roxas said the video was clearly altered to fit the advertisement’s message.
“This is deception in its purest form. The picture used was when President Arroyo finally signed the Cheaper Medicine Law, it says so in the background, but this was deliberately blurred,” he said.
“I am nobody’s ‘palakpak boy’ as Binay insinuates. This is obviously a desperate attempt to try to catch up with my lead. The people are not for negative campaigning, especially of the malicious kind,” he added.
He acknowledged that the original video would indeed show him clapping while Mrs. Arroyo signed the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicine Act on June 6, 2008.
“But of course I was clapping during the signing because finally, after 18 years, my dream of making medicine cheaper and more accessible to the people has been realized. Who would not clap in that situation?” he asked.
Aside from Roxas, also in the original video/picture were Senators Pia Cayetano, Edgardo Angara and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, members of the House of Representatives and Cabinet members led by Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Trade Secretary Peter Favila.
“They have become so desperate, especially now that my victory is imminent following the endorsements of numerous groups and individuals. Clearly, the road to victory is never really easy, it is full of stumbling blocks laid by desperate losers,” Roxas said.
Meanwhile, Rafael Cojuangco Lopa, cousin of Aquino, denied that he is secretly directing the surveys being conducted by Pulse Asia and SWS.
Lopa told The STAR that he divested his interest in Pulse Asia after Aquino decided to run for president in the May 10 elections.
Lopa said Pulse Asia is now majority owned by the academics.
“It is headed by Prof. Pepe Miranda, chairman, Prof. Ronnie Holmes, president, Dr. Ana Tabunda, executive director. Re: SWS, I have no involvement with SWS. You can check with Dr. Mangahas himself,” Lopa said.
Lopa said Pulse Asia and SWS are professional polling survey groups.
“It is my belief that these two polling groups are run professionally and have shown a credible track record all these years,” Lopa said.
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) senatorial candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad earlier said that relatives and close associates of Aquino are directing behind the scenes the surveys being conducted by Pulse Asia and SWS.
Citing a research paper and documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tatad said relatives and associates of the late President Aquino are directors and stockholders of SWS and Pulse Asia. – With Aurea Calica, Jose Rodel Clapano