Villar loses 6 points; Estrada gains 6 points
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Not even Sen. Manuel Villar’s speech at the Senate claiming innocence with regard to the C-5 road extension controversy could avert the drop of 6 percentage points in his ratings in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
The results of the February 2010 Pre-election Survey for National Elective Positions conducted on Feb. 21-25 showed that support for Villar, the standard-bearer of the Nacionalista Party, had declined by 6 percentage points (or from 35 percent to 29 percent), and that his closest rival, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party, would have won the presidency if the elections were held last month.
With the noncommissioned survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, support for Aquino was statistically unchanged from 37 percent in January (when he and Villar were on a statistical tie) to 36 percent in February.
The big mover in the survey was Joseph “Erap” Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, who was ousted from the presidency in 2001, convicted of plunder in 2007 and pardoned weeks later.
His support rose to 18 percent last month, up 6 percentage points from January, placing him third in the presidential race.
“This means that Erap has reclaimed the support of the majority of our poor voters, those in the D and E economic classes,” Reuters quoted Estrada’s spokesperson Margaux Salcedo as saying.
Aquino leading in ABC
Pulse Asia noted in its report to the media Friday that Villar’s privilege speech in the Senate clearing himself of wrongdoing in the C-5 road extension project, and the senators’ failure to vote on the committee report seeking to censure him, were among the events that dominated the news headlines in February.
The survey results showed Aquino enjoying a significant lead in Metro Manila (40 percent) and among social classes ABC (43 percent) and D (36 percent).
He shared the top spot with Villar in Luzon outside Metro Manila (33 percent for him, 31 percent for Villar); Visayas (39 percent for him, 38 percent for Villar); and among the poorest class E (36 percent for him, 33 percent for Villar).
The rating of Gilbert Teodoro, the administration’s standard-bearer, rose by 2 percentage points (from 5 to 7 percent). But it is statistically insignificant in light of the survey’s margin of error.
The ratings of the remaining candidates were statistically unchanged.
Bro. Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas (2 percent) and Sen. Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan (1 percent) garnered ratings similar to those in Pulse Asia’s January survey.
Those who received ratings of less than zero were Sen. Jamby Madrigal (0.3 percent), Nicanor Perlas (0.2 percent) and JC de los Reyes (0 percent).
Still included in the survey was Vetellano Acosta of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (0.04 percent), who has just been declared a nuisance candidate by the Commission on Elections.
Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, maintained a significant lead over other vice presidential candidates with 43 percent.
Roxas was followed by Villar’s running mate, Sen. Loren Legarda (27 percent), and Estrada’s running mate, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay (15 percent).
The other candidates posted 1-digit ratings: Bayani Fernando (4 percent), Eduardo Manzano (2 percent), Perfecto Yasay (1 percent), Jose “Jay” Sonza (1 percent) and Dominador Chipeco Jr. (0.1 percent).
The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 Filipino adults. For the electoral preference module, Pulse Asia used a sample ballot measuring 8.5 x 26 inches, the size of the official ballot of the Commission on Elections.
The respondents who chose a presidential candidate were asked why they did so.
Among the reasons they cited were: Not corrupt/clean record (26 percent); cares for the poor (22 percent); can do something, is doing something, will do something (14 percent); helps, helping others (11 percent); good person (10 percent); used to governing, has experience (7 percent); knowledgeable/ intelligent (5 percent); listens to people (3 percent); and other reasons (1 percent).
Six percent of Filipino voters have yet to decide on their presidential preference or have no candidate in mind, according to the survey.
Seven percent of voters have no vice-presidential preference. Lawrence de Guzman of Inquirer Research, with a report from Reuters