Margaux Salcedo

Erap tied with Villar in latest Pulse Asia poll

Erap tied with Villar in latest Pulse Asia poll
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – With elections less than two weeks away, the tandem of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) standard-bearer former President Joseph Estrada and running mate Jejomar Binay surged to the number two spot.

Results of Pulse Asia’s latest pre-election survey showed that Estrada and Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Sen. Manuel Villar are now tied at second place with 20 percent each.

Binay, showing strong improvement, also overtook NP bet Sen. Loren Legarda for second place (28 percent versus 20 percent).

Pulse Asia said Binay gained nine percentage points in electoral support while Legarda’s score dropped from 23 percent in March to 20 percent in a survey conducted from April 23 to 25.

Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III is still dominating the race with 39 percent or four in 10 Filipino voters showing preference for him. Aquino is leading by 19 points over Villar and Estrada.

Aquino was apparently buoyed by the results and attributed the increase in his numbers to the LP’s intensive campaign in different parts of the country.

“I’ve told you that once we move around (for the campaign sorties, my rating will increase),” he said.

Estrada, for his part, said the Pulse Asia survey is good news.

“This reflects that people are now seeing beyond the campaign propaganda of other camps and discerning who is truly opposition and who is truly pro-poor,” said Estrada’s spokeswoman Margaux Salcedo.

Administration bet Gilberto Teodoro of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD came in a distant third with seven percent; followed by Bangon Pilipinas candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva with three percent.

Villanueva, meanwhile, said he is not bothered by his rating and maintains that the public should expect an upset in the election turnout, confident that the entire ticket of the BPP will win.

Bagumbayan standard-bearer Sen. Richard Gordon ranks fifth with two percent; followed by disqualified presidential candidate Vetellano Acosta of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan with one percent.

The other presidential candidates received less than one percent of the respondents’ votes: independent candidate Nicanor Perlas (0.3 percent), Ang Kapatiran Party’s John Carlos de los Reyes (0.2 percent); and Sen. Jamby Madrigal (0.1 percent).

Nine percent of respondents were undecided about their presidential preference.

According to Pulse Asia, the other vice-presidential candidates register voter preferences of at most three percent. They were former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando of the Bagumbayan Party (three percent); Lakas-Kampi candidate actor Edu Manzano (three percent); Bangon Pilipinas’ Perfecto Yasay (one percent); KBL’s Jay Sonza (0.3 percent); and AKP bet Dominador Chipeco (0.05 percent).

In a reaction, Roxas said he is very grateful to the Filipinos for their continuing support.

“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,” he said.

Pulse Asia said among the major developments immediately prior to and during the conduct of interviews were defections from the Lakas-Kampi mostly to the NP and LP, and Sen. Francis Escudero’s endorsement of Aquino for president and Binay for vice-president.

The non-commissioned survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,800 representative adults. – With Evelyn Macairan, Marvin Sy, Aurea Calica, Cecille Suerte Felipe