Noynoy lead now 22 points; Erap overtakes Villar—SWS

Noynoy lead now 22 points; Erap overtakes Villar—SWS

With the May 10 elections just around the corner, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III has picked up steam to widen his lead in the presidential race, results of the final BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (BW-SWS) Pre-Election survey showed.

The May 2-3 poll, conducted roughly a week before Filipinos troop to the precincts, gave Mr. Aquino the support of 42%, up four points and ahead of former President Joseph “Erap” E. Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masa who was now in second place with three-point gain to 20%.

Erstwhile second-placer Sen. Manuel “Manny” B. Villar, Jr. of the Nationalista Party (NP) was a point behind at 19%, a result within the survey’s error margin of 2.2%. His support was down seven points from the prior BW-SWS poll of April 16-19.

The gap between the top two was 22 points, wider than the 12 Mr. Aquino enjoyed over Mr. Villar in the last survey.

Former Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” C. Teodoro Jr., the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party’s candidate, remained fourth with an unchanged score of 9%.

Bangon Pilipinas bet Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” C. Villanueva was fifth with 3%, followed by Partido Bagumbayan’s Sen. Richard “Dick” J. Gordon (2%), Ang Kapatiran’s John Carlos “JC” G. de los Reyes (0.3%), and independents Maria Consuelo “Jamby” A. S. Madrigal (0.2%) and Nicanor Jesus “Nick” P. Perlas (0.1%)

Six percent of the respondents were classed as undecided. This category included votes for disqualified Kilusang Bagong Lipunan bet Vetellano “Dodong” Acosta and others.

As in three prior surveys, the last BW-SWS poll had respondents being asked to fill out ballots in a simulation of the May 10 exercise. Polled were 2,400 registered voters, divided into random samples of 300 for Metro Manila, 900 in the Balance of Luzon, and 600 each in the Visayas and Mindanao.

(The BW-SWS polls for December and January involved the interviewers providing lists of candidates and asking the respondents to choose.)

The error margins used were ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±3% for the rest of Luzon, and ±4% for the Visayas and Mindanao.

They were asked: “Kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon, sino ang pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto bilang presidente, bise-presidente, mga senador at party list ng Pilipinas? Narito ang listahan ng mga kandidato. Paki-shade o itiman po ang naaangkop na oval katabi ng pangalan ng taong pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto. (If the elections were held today, whom would you most probably vote for as president, vice-president, senator, and party list of the Philippines? Here is a list of candidates. Please shade the oval beside the name of the persons you would most likely vote for.)

The results gave Mr. Aquino the lead across all geographic areas and social classes.

The SWS said his wider nationwide lead was due to gains of eight points in Metro Manila (to 43%), six points in Mindanao (39%), four points in the Balance of Luzon (41%), and one point in the Visayas (47%).

Mr. Estrada’s score went up owing to an eight-point improvement in Mindanao (to 30%), one-point gains each in Metro Manila (26%) and the rest of Luzon (18%), and an unchanged 7% in the Visayas.

Mr. Villar’s decline was traced to a 16-point plunge in Mindanao to 15%, an eight-point loss to 10% in Metro Manila and a five-point drop to 20% in the Balance of Luzon. His support in the Visayas stayed at 25%.

Mr. Teodoro’s two-point gain in Mindanao to 10% and a steady score of 9% in Balance of Luzon, meanwhile, were offset by two-point loss each in Metro Manila (to 8%) and the Visayas (9%).

Mr. Villanueva saw his scores in the Balance of Luzon and Mindanao move up by one point each to 4% and 2%, respectively, which was offset by identical declines in Metro Manila (to 2%) and the Visayas (1%).

Mr. Gordon, meanwhile, gained a point in the rest of Luzon (to 3%) and stayed steady in Metro Manila (2%) and the Visayas (1%). His support in Mindanao barely changed at 0.2%.

“The vote percentages of de los Reyes, Madrigal, and Perlas across major study areas hardly changed from April 16-19,” SWS said.

Among the ABC class, Mr. Estrada gained eight points (to 14%,) Mr. Teodoro by three (also to 14%), and Messrs. Villanueva, Gordon and Perlas added one point each (4%, 4%, and 1%, respectively). Messrs. Aquino and Villar lost nine points each to 44% and 13%, respectively.

Among the class D or masa, Mr. Aquino posted a six-point gain to 44%, Mr. Estrada added three points to 19%, while Messrs. Villanueva and Gordon were steady at 2% each. Mr. Teodoro lost two points to score 8% while Mr. Villar slid by seven points to 18%.

Among the class E, Mr. Teodoro posted a six-point increase to 12%, Mr. Aquino was up three points to 35%, and Mr. Villanueva added one point to 2%. Mr. Estrada’s score was unchanged at 23% while Mr. Villar lost 10 points to 21%.

As in geographical areas, the vote percentages for Ms. Madrigal, and Messrs. de los Reyes, Gordon and Perlas were hardly changed.

Sought for comment, Mr. Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a telephone interview: “We are humbled by the numbers. Undecided voters have decided to go for Noynoy after they have heard of our platforms. Secondly, the negative reports that other camps tried to present against us backlashed on them. The issue in this election has boiled down to trustworthiness. The Villar camp is now paying the price of their black propaganda [against us].”

Former senator Ernesto M. Maceda, Mr. Estrada’s campaign manager, said the latest SWS survey results did not match those of their internal survey where Mr. Aquino scored 34% while the former president obtained 29%.

“We do not accept this as reflection of the true situation on the ground. Based on the [support of] tens of thousands of people in our sorties, we feel we have much more,” he said in a separate phone interview.

Lawyer Mike Toledo, Mr. Teodoro’s spokesman, aired the same view, saying: “We find the survey hard to believe. It’s different from what we see on the ground. The surveys don’t reflect the reality [based on our sorties].”

The NP, for its part, was unfazed by the survey results, saying that Mr. Villar’s machinery would help him claim victory on May 10.

“While surveys may be good indicators of public opinion and perception, the NP, however, believes these do not dictate the outcome of elections,” senatorial bet Gilbert C. Remulla, who also acts as NP spokesman, said in a statement.

“We believe that the political machinery established by Senator Villar in the provincial, city and municipal levels nationwide would deliver the much-needed votes for our presidential candidate.” —BusinessWorld

Villar loses support among poor: survey

Villar loses support among poor: survey
By Carmela Fonbuena Newsbreak

Erap ties NP standard-bearer for 2nd place

MANILA, Philippines—The new Pulse Asia survey conducted 2 weeks before the May 10 polls is double whammy for Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearers Senators Manuel.In the April 23-25 survey, Villar and Legarda plunged 5 points and 3 points, respectively.

With 2 points margin of error, that means Villar lost from 3 to 7 percentage points. At 500,000 voters per statistical point, the drop is equivalent to 1.5 million to 3.5 million votes.

The numbers of Liberal Party (LP) bet Senator Benigno Aquino III and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) bet former President Joseph Estrada were steady. Their 2-point gains are within the margin error.

“We’re not really surprised that President Estrada’s ratings rose. We stuck to our strategy of going directly to the people, and they have realized that Estrada is the real leader of the poor,” said PMP spokesperson Ralph Calinisan.

“I think people are starting to realize…that Estrada is the real ally of the masses…. We’re winning back the D and E votes, which are really the Estrada votes,” said Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, PMP spokesman in Metro Manila.

Aquino stays on top with 39 points. It’s 1-percentage point less than the combined numbers of Villar and Estrada, who are tied at 20 points.

Administration bet former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. is stuck at 7 percentage points.

The undecided group is also steady at 9 percentage points. It’s equivalent to 4.5 million voters.

NP not discouraged

But NP spokesmen and senatorial candidates Adel Tamano and Gilbert Remulla said they are not discouraged by the survey results.“Five points going down is not fatal. We are very confident hahabol kami (we are going to catch up),” Tamano told in a phone interview.

“There is a false perception that Noynoy is going to win. I tell you, expect some surprises. This is going to be the longest 10 days,” he said. Tamano said the NP is counting on endorsements and their local machinery to deliver votes for Villar.

Remulla also accused the survey firm of being biased against Villar. “Pulse Asia surveys have never been kind to Senator Villar from what we believe is due to its ownership structure,” he told in a mobile text message.

Aquino’s first cousin, Rapa Lopa, was former president of Pulse Asia. But Lopa has divested in the survey firm since Aquino joined the presidential race.

But Villar supporter political analyst Prospero De Vera acknowledges that the new survey is bad news.

“The numbers are bad. It’s the result of a concentrated black propaganda from both Erap and Noynoy camps. The attack has been so vicious in the past few weeks,” De Vera told in a phone interview.

Binay’s dramatic increase

In the vice presidential race, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has overtaken Legarda with his dramatic increase of 9 percentage points, or the equivalent of 4.5 million voters.Binay registered 28 points compared to Legarda’s 20 points.

According to the analysis of Pulse Asia, the vice presidential race is now between Senator Manuel Roxas II of the Liberal Party and Binay. Roxas remains on top with 37 points.

But Roxas is already confident of the LP’s big win in May. “I am happy that Noynoy Aquino and I will become the next president and vice-president of this country. We pledge to pursue our commitment to reform our government so that our people can enjoy the fruits of good governance as this will result in true progress and development for all the peoples of this country,” Roxas said in a statement.

Noynoy gets poor, Erap gets Mindanao

Villar’s numbers show he is losing the support across the board—in all regional breakdowns and all socio-demographics.

Candidates’ gains and losses
Error margin
Villar Estrada
2 2 -5 2
NCR 7 -3 -2 2
Balance Luzon 3 4 -5 1
Visayas 5 6 -7 3
Mindanao 5 -1 -7 5
ABC Not available -4 -1 -1
D Not available 2 -6 4
E Not available 3 -4 0

Villar is losing to Aquino and Estrada his support base among the poor.Villar dropped 6-percentage points and 4-percentage points in classes D and E, respectively. Aquino gained 2 percentage points in Class D and 3 percentage points in Class E. Estrada gained 4 points in Class D.

The foundation of Villar’s campaign has always been his rags-to-riches story. He says that if he can get himself out of poverty, he can also do it for the rest of the Filipinos.

But this claim was put in question when various camps starting in March belied Villar’s poverty. (See Aquino joins ‘Villar is not poor’ chorus)

“Maybe the poor voters are getting confused. Probably they got confused by all these accusations,” said Villar supporter, De Vera. “Our messaging has been drowned out by negative attacks. It’s not anymore issues.”

By region, Villar is losing to Aquino his supporters in Balance Luzon and the Visayas. Estrada continues to shrink Villar’s support base in Mindanao.

In the March 2010 survey, Estrada registered a big gain in Mindanao at the expense of Villar.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who is vice president for Mindanao of Estrada’s PMP, said the supporters of Estrada are returning to his side after the Supreme Court’s decision in January 2010 to junk the disqualification case against him. (See Erap, not C-5, caused Villar’s survey drop)

The other candidates, including disqualified bet Vetellano Acosta, got 1 point to 3 points increases across the board.

Victim of black propaganda?

Villar’s camp said the surveys numbers are a result of a concentrated black propaganda against Villar.

“In the past few weeks, we have seen intensified black propaganda and vicious attacks from both the Erap and Aquino camps,” Remulla said.

“Jamby, si Erap, si Gordon, and the Liberal Party, they’re all hitting Manny [Villar] at the same time. There has been a flurry of negative campaigning. It’s below the belt,” Tamano added.

Among the key developments identified by Pulse Asia during the survey period are the following:

  • Defections from Lakas-Kampi CMD to NP and LP
  • Allegations made by Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that while serving Senate President in 2007, Villar used his position to pressure the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to decide in his favor on a matter concerning the public offering of his real estate company’s shares

De Vera assailed the LP camp for “concocting” the alleged “Villaroyo” alliance between President Arroyo and Villar.“All evidence show that it’s (defections from Lakas-Kampi CMD) practically equal. And they got Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, the most notorious and most loyal adviser of President Arroyo. While he joined LP, he said he is still loyal to President Arroyo. What other proof of a distorted politician is that?” De Vera said. (See Lakas-Kampi defections: ‘Villaroyo’ or ‘Gloriaquino’?)

He also challenged Estrada to file a case against Villar in allegedly exerting his pressure on the PSE. “The PSE has cleared Villar. Why don’t they file a case?” he said.

Blaming the media

De Vera also laments what he calls “media’s bias” against Villar.

“It’s the black propaganda peddled through accusations in press conferences, the media, and the SMS. These have been driving the campaign since 2 weeks ago,” De Vera said.

“The Noynoy camp has a significant advantage in the media. They are backed up by ABS-CBN. They are also backed up by columnists, who hide behind their columns. Villar doesn’t have any of this,” he said.

In a press conference on Monday, Villar’s family also blamed the media for the negative stories on Villar (See Villar’s mom: Stop picking on my son)

While Villar has dominated political advertising in television and radio, Tamano said the ads are powerless against all the attacks.

“It’s very difficult to answer all allegations. It’s not one-on-one. It’s one side versus four,” Tamano said.

Tamano said in the remaining days in the campaign period, the NP will stress their message on competence. “The real debate should be who is most competent. If we go back to that, I believe we are going to get the undecided voters,” he said.

“Our voters have shifted to the undecided and we are doing all that we can to win them back. We believe there is enough time. Once that is done, it will be back to manageable levels and our party machinery will see us to victory,” said Remulla. (

Erap says 3 witnesses willing to testify vs Villar

Erap says 3 witnesses willing to testify vs Villar
By Jose Rodel Clapano
The Philippine Star

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada said he has three witnesses who can prove that Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Manuel Villar Jr. had used his influenced as Senate president to convince officials of the Philippine Stocks Exchange to allow him sell billions of pesos in shares in a real estate firm in 2007.

Estrada, the standard-bearer of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino said the three witnesses who fed him the information six months ago are willing to testify against Villar. He declined to name them.

“One of them is a businessman,” he said. “They lost almost 20 to 30 million (pesos). They are simple businessmen.”

“He will have a hard time because what Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile exposed are all backed up by documents, including the meetings of the board of directors of the PSE,” he said.

Enrile said Villar, as Senate president, violated stock exchange rules when he influenced the PSE board in June 2007 into approving his request for the release of close to 30 percent of his shares in Vista Land from the lock-up period. Villar said the accusation was black propaganda.

Estrada said he does not care if Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III would benefit from the exposé.

“We did not do that for the purpose of helping Noynoy,” he said. “We did that to inform and help the people. It is our duty, my duty even as a private citizen,” Estrada said.