Perfecto Yasay

Bro. Eddie dares rivals to undergo lie detector test

Bro. Eddie dares rivals to undergo lie detector test
By Evelyn Macairan
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Bangon Pilipinas presidential bet Bro. Eddie Villanueva dared yesterday his rivals and all vice presidential candidates to take a lie detector test and fully disclose the contents of their bank accounts, aside from a psychological test.

He told reporters that people running for elective positions should take tests that would determine the soundness of their minds and their honesty to serve the public.

Villanueva assured the public that he and his running mate former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr. are willing to submit themselves to a psychological test.

“All presidents and vice presidents should be subjected to lie detector tests (to prove) that we are not involved in any corruption activity from the past up to the present,” he said.

He said all the candidates who promised to stop corruption should open their bank accounts to the public by waiving the bank secrecy law.

“They should be physically, mentally, emotionally sound and psychologically sound and most of all morally sound,” Villanueva added.

Villanueva, founder of the Jesus is Lord (JIL), believed that it is not only Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino who should undergo psychological test but also the other candidates including those running for mayor, congressman, and senator.

Yasay said that while the rumors about Senator Aquino’s alleged psychological problem in the past were mere black propaganda, the LP standard-bearer should not only deny the accusations, but he should prove himself.

“It is not enough that he would say that these rumors are not true, he must be straightforward. He must take a pro-active role in dispelling all of these doubts because he owes that to the Filipino people. The real health of our future leaders is important and the concern of the people. This is not a personal issue, this is a public concern and I think that he must do something to dispel these doubts,” Yasay said.

Meantime, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari yesterday urged all leaders, members and supporters of the former rebel group to support the presidential bid of Villanueva.

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

Villar 'desperate' for using own mom, says Erap

Villar ‘desperate’ for using own mom, says Erap
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Joseph Estrada on Tuesday branded as an “act of desperation” Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar’s move to use his own mother to defend himself from allegations that he is corrupt.

Estrada, who is running for re-election under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino banner, said he purposely shielded his mother, Doña Mary Ejercito, from all negative reports about him during his impeachment trial in December 2000.

“It happened  to me also during the impeachment. In fact, ang ginawa ko at ng mga kapatid ko,wag pakita sa mama ko yung tv. Kakaunti na lang panahon niya? Bakit ko sasaktan kalooban ng nanay ko? Bakit bibigyan ng sama ng loob,” he said in a ANC “Headstart” interview.

He added: “In my opinion, it’s a desperate move, parang desperado. Bakit pati magulang mo isasama mo? Dadagdagan mo pa ng sama ng loob yung magulang mo eh ang tanda na. Kasama na sa departure area.”

Estrada’s mother passed away at the age of 103 last January 13, 2009.

On Monday, Villar’ 86-year-old mother, Curita, faced the media for the first time to defend her son from her critics.

Nanay Curing Villar, as she is fondly called, said she felt helpless after hearing reports that her son is being accused of being corrupt. “Umiiyak lang ako sa sama ng loob. Tutulo na lang bigla ang luha ko,” she said.

She said Villar is a good, honest man who wants nothing more than to serve the poor. Their own poverty fueled Villar’s passion to help the poor, she said.

Villar’s sisters, Baby Villar-Benedicto and Vicky Devenagracia, also lashed out at ABS-CBN News and GMA 7 for allegedly being biased against the NP bet, whose ratings have dropped in the most recent surveys of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations.

‘Nothing personal vs Villar’

For his part, Estrada said he has nothing personal against Villar despite the latter’s role in elevating the impeachment case against the then-president to the Senate. Villar was former Speaker of the House of Representatives during the impeachment of President Estrada.

Estrada said he has already forgiven Villar for the act but added that he had a duty to tell the people the truth about the former House Speaker and Senate President.

Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile have accused Villar of using his influence to pressure members of the Philippine Stock Exchange Board board so he can illegally profit from the public listing of his company’s shares in 2007.  Villar has denied the accusation.

“I don’t have the intention of mudslinging any of my opponents but as a former president and as a citizen, I have to inform the public about what’s really behind all these candidates,” he said.

Estrada also branded former Securities and Exchange Commission Perfecto Yasay Jr. a liar for saying that Estrada ordered him to stop the investigation on the Best World Resources stock manipulation scandal. He said that instead of stopping the investigation, he actually told Yasay to expedite it.

Willing to lose

The former president, meanwhile, said he has made great gains in the presidential race as shown by recent pre-election surveys. He said his own survey showed that he has overtaken Villar for 2nd place and is only 10 percentage points behind frontrunner Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party.

During the interview, Estrada also said that he is willing to accept a loss from Aquino or Villar in the May 10 polls.

“Why not? Vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. Kaya nga galit ang Diyos sa atin,” he said, adding that the voice of the majority was not heard when he was illegally ousted during EDSA II.

Estrada declined to answer when asked who he would endorse if he had not decided to run for president. He confessed, however, that he admires Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats candidate Gilbet Teodoro for being articulate and intelligent and for his experiences as a former congressman and defense secretary.

He also said he has decided to change his campaign color to tangerine after a dispute with Villar over the use of the color orange for the campaign. Asked what was different between the colors tangerine and orange, he replied: “Different ang spelling.”   With reports from Maria Althea Teves, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak; and Cherry Anne M. Mungcal, abs-cbnNEWS.com Halalan Volunteer

Quiboloy endorsing Gibo for president?

Quiboloy endorsing Gibo for president?
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the 6-million strong Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) religious sect, on Sunday made no formal announcement on which presidential candidate he will endorse for the May 10 elections.

He did, however, broadly hint that his preferred candidate is “magaling at matalino.”

“Galing at Talino” is the campaign slogan of Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro.

It was not the first time that the influential Davao pastor and self-proclaimed “son of God” had allegedly endorsed Teodoro’s candidacy. Last February 11, Quiboloy prayed that God would favor Teodoro by letting him win the presidential election.

On Sunday, Quiboloy said his personal preference could still differ from God’s own revelation on who he should endorse for the May poll. He said he will make a formal announcement on his endorsement on May 2, just one week before the election.

Politicians and candidates in the May elections flocked to the KJC leader’s Sonshine Land to celebrate Quiboloy’s 60th birthday. Among those who visited the pastor were presidential candidates Richard Gordon, Joseph Estrada, Brother Eddie Villanueva, Jamby Madrigal and Teodoro.

Also seen at the party were vice presidential candidates Jay Sonza, Jejomar Binay and Perfecto Yasay; and senatorial candidates Ompong Plaza, Toots Ople, Ramon Mitra, Jr and Adel Tamano of the Nacionalista Party.

Teodoro sidestepped questions that he came to the party to formally seek Quiboloy’s endorsement. “I am not here for an endorsement. I won’t talk about any endorsement. I’m just here to wish my friend a happy birthday,” he told reporters.

Other candidates also echoed the same line.

Said Madrigal: “I come here with no expectations.”

“Whatever happens, it’s fine with me,” added Gordon.

Liberal Party bet Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was not able to attend the birthday celebration but his running mate, Mar Roxas, called up Quiboloy to say Aquino had a prior engagement.

Aside from politicians, thousands of children also came to Sonshine Land and were treated to free rides, food and entertainment.

It was Quiboloy’s way of celebrating his birthday, declaring this day as the 5th National Children’s Day, which was dubbed as a nationwide children’s party and feeding program. Quiboloy also has a foundation, the Children’s Joy Foundation, that aims to feed, clothe, and shelter 3 million children.

The Vote 2010: Perfecto Rivas Yasay Jr.

The Vote 2010: Perfecto Rivas Yasay Jr.
The Philippine Star

PERFECTO RIVAS YASAY JR.

Bangon Pilipinas

Born Jan. 27, 1947 in Kidapawan, Cotabato

Married to Cecille Joaquin (former commissioner, Population Commission)

Children: Oliver, Raveena, Stephanie

Elementary: Marikina Elementary School

High school: Davao City High School (1963)

College: BA in Political Science, Central Philippine University (1967)

Bachelor of Laws, University of the Philippines (1972)

Father: Perfecto Yasay Sr. (pastor)

Mother: Deborah Rivas (public school teacher)

Born: Jan. 27, 1947.

High School: Davao City High School, 1963.

College: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; Central Philippine University, Iloilo City, 1967.

Graduate: Bachelor of Laws, University of the Philippines, 1972.

Previous Employment: Former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Parents: Perfecto Patiño Yasay (pastor); Deborah Rivas (public school teacher).

Spouse: Cecile Joaquin-Yasay, former Commissioner of Population Commission.

Children: Stephanie Yasay, 14, with Cecile. Oliver Yasay, 35 and Raveena Yasay, 33 from a previous marriage.

State of Wealth: Income of P500,000 a month from consultancy work.

State of Health: Very good. I play golf. Every time I play golf I walk, I don’t use the cart.

Blood pressure: 140/90.

Surgeries: I had my gallstones removed when I was SEC chair. I also had a non-surgical medical procedure to pulverize my kidney stones. I also had an extraction of a benign bone tumor when I was in school.

Medication/vitamins: Statins for blood pressure. Vitamins C, D, E. Aspilet (aspirin).

How do you see the role of the vice president?

It is very important because from Day One the VP must be prepared and must be equally qualified as the president to lead the country.

Will you be a high profile vice president?

Being high-profile is something that you don’t plan. It’s a result of what you do, especially if you get into things that are controversial, even if they are good and not popular. I don’t think that as a plan or intention I would want to be a high-profile VP. I just would like to do my job the best way I know how.

Will you ask for a Cabinet post? Which one?

I will serve wherever the president chooses. Bro. Eddie (Bangon Pilipinas presidential bet Eddie Villanueva) has intimated to me that on the basis of my experience with the Securities and Exchange Commission and my international experience, he will be considering me to be the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. I want to focus on investment development, because if we raise investment we can grow industry, and that means creating jobs. But if asked, I would like Trade and Industry.

Will you be a traveling vice president?

It really depends upon the requirements of the job. Being Secretary of Foreign Affairs I know I will be traveling. Priority destinations: Aside from China and other Asian counties, the US and European countries, we would also like to concentrate on countries where we have a lot of exposure in terms of overseas Filipino workers. But I want to go around the country and talk to farmers and fisherfolk, who are the most affected by free trade. I want to see how we can diminish the harsh impact of free trade on these sectors.

If you were the vice president in January 2001, would you have taken over from President Estrada?

Yes.

If you were the VP in 2005 and the Hyatt 10 asked you to take over from President Arroyo, would you have agreed?

You don’t serve as vice president because somebody tells you to serve as VP. You serve as VP because that’s how the law is. When the president is ousted or is no longer competent, then it’s your duty to take over.

If you and the elected president come from different parties, what will your role be?

It depends on what the president wants me to do. I can work with any president.

Yasay wants change in RP's socioeconomic policies

Yasay wants change in RP’s socioeconomic policies
By Donnabelle Gatdula
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Bangon Pilipinas vice presidential candidate Perfecto Yasay Jr. said yesterday he plans to change the socioeconomic policies in the country if he wins in the May polls.

He said present economic policies favor only the rich and the elite, leaving the poor with fewer opportunities to share in the country’s resources.

“I would like to make sure that the fundamental law of our economic system is dismantled,” he said.

Yasay, who served as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 1995 to 2000, said there are too many “socioeconomic injustices” in the current political and economic system in the country.

“There is the overpowering interest of the elite class.”

As such, Yasay said he would put in place policies that would enable the rich to share their wealth with others.

He said when he was SEC chairman he pushed for ordinary people’s access to stock market investments.

But while he vowed to dismantle policies that favor the rich, Yasay said he would also push for a more favorable tax environment for businesses and investors.

He stressed that this is the way the country would attract investments.

“We have to make sure policies are stable and we have to have a favorable tax environment.”

He said he would also be serious in fighting corruption so that investors would be more willing to set up businesses in the country.

“A huge part of the national budget goes to corruption,” he lamented.

Asked if he would push for new taxes if elected, Yasay said there is no need for that.

“We are still borrowing money but it goes to corruption so if we have new taxes, that will just go to corruption,” Yasay said.

He challenged whoever will win as president not to impose new taxes and show that he or she is serious in fighting corruption.

“We should even eliminate existing taxes such as the expanded value-added tax (E-VAT),” Yasay said, adding that this tax is inequitable as it hurts only the consumers and not the manufacturers.

A lawyer by profession, Yasay has experience in the field of legal and judicial systems and has litigated numerous corporate, civil and criminal and immigration cases under the Philippine and American legal and judicial systems and in various quasi-judicial and administrative bodies.

Villar can be a dangerous president – Erap

Villar can be a dangerous president – Erap
The Philippine Star

BUTUAN City  , Philippines – Former President Joseph Estrada believes he has a duty as a citizen to reveal the true personality of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino standard-bearer said Villar’s alleged involvement in stock manipulation could make him a very dangerous president.

Estrada said he had given Villar the benefit of the doubt, although he did not clearly explain the various allegations against him.

“Not until there is a document,” he said. “That is the time I disclosed it. It’s my duty even as a private citizen to make the people know what some elected officials are like.

“He keeps on telling the people through advertisements that he is helping the overseas Filipino workers, but then he is raking in billions of income from that.

“I have seen the prospectus (of Vista Land). But even if he has facilitated the return of 1,000 OFWs he will still profit from that, that is why his target market are the OFWs.”

Estrada said Villar’s alleged involvement in stock manipulation has given him undue advantage.

“If he can do that while he was speaker, Senate president, how much more when he is already the president,” he said.

PMP spokesman Ralph Calinisan said Villar might have violated Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when he tried to “persuade” members of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to grant his “request” to unlock his shares of stocks in Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc.

“Moreover, it is also equally illegal for any person who has direct or indirect financial interest to intervene in SEC and PSE board proceedings, especially since he was then Senate president.”

Calinisan said Villar resorted to the weakest form of defense when he merely denied and described as “pure politicking” the allegations leveled against him by Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Calinisan said Villar’s credibility is now in question.

Villar has been “positively identified” by a number of players in the whole issue, a fact which he cannot deny, he added.

Former SEC chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr. believes Villar’s presence at the SEC was irregular.

“I’m really concerned and deeply disturbed by what is being claimed by the SEC and some other quarters that the presence of Villar in the stock exchange meeting and decision to lift the lockout provision on his shareholding and his calls to the SEC were nothing irregular,” he said.

“Everything is irregular with it especially in the light of our experiences in the country.

“If Villar honestly felt that he was not pressuring people to lift the lockout provision to enable him to sell his shares, then he should not have been there. His presence alone was a tremendous pressure that I am sure impacted on the outcome of the decision, which was to lift the lockout.”

Yasay said Estrada was the last person he expected to expose the alleged irregularity.

“I’m surprised that it is President Estrada who is the one saying this and I’m sure that Estrada had good motives in saying this to help the people,” he said.

Gerard Lukban, SEC spokesman, said the allegations against the agency and its top officials have no basis.

He said Villar was not present in any meeting of the SEC at the time when Vistaland’s initial public offering/listing application was being deliberated.

Allegations that Villar had been calling SEC chair Fe Barin to follow up on the firm’s application were purely speculation, he added.

The SEC is looking into the allegations and has referred the case to the agency’s stock market surveillance department, Lukban said.

Villar countered yesterday that not a single peso of government money was lost but some P130 million in taxes were paid when his company sold shares at the stock market.

Speaking at the NP headquarters in Mandaluyong, Villar said the PSE did not bend rules for his company during the selling of shares. – Jose Rodel Clapano, Christina Mendez, Evelyn Macairan, Aurea Calica

Noynoy, Mar ratings surge in latest poll

Noynoy, Mar ratings surge in latest poll
By Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The trust ratings of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and running mate Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II have surged in the homestretch of the campaign for the May 10 polls, according to a recent survey by independent pollster Pulse Asia Inc.

Results of the survey conducted from March 21 to 28 among 3,000 respondents showed Aquino leading the pack of presidential candidates in terms of trust rating by voters, with 69 percent saying they have “big trust” in the LP presidential bet.

Aquino’s rating was up five points from 64 percent in the February survey.

Only nine percent said they have “small/no trust” in Aquino, a significant drop of five points from 14 percent last February.

Meanwhile, 74 percent said they had “big trust” in Roxas, or a four-point increase from 70 percent.

This makes Roxas still the most trusted public official and candidate in the upcoming elections, Pulse Asia said.

The Aquino-Roxas tandem has consistently led surveys on voter preference for the May 10 polls as early as September last year. In comparison, their rivals in the May 10 national elections had lower trust rating from Filipino voters.

Only 61 percent of voters have “big trust” in Nacionalista Party presidential bet Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., a clear indication that his camp failed to besmirch the positive campaign of Aquino, according to LP director general Chito Gascon.

Former President Joseph Estrada placed third with 48 percent, followed by former Defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. with 36 percent, Sen. Richard Gordon with 29 percent, evangelist Eddie Villanueva with 22 percent and Sen. Jamby Madrigal with 21 percent. Environmentalist Nicanor Perlas and Olongapo Councilor JC de los Reyes each got nine percent.

Among Roxas’ rivals in the vice-presidential race, Sen. Loren Legarda registered a trust rating of only 59 percent. Those who said they had “small/no trust” for Legarda was 12 percent.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay got 58 percent trust rating, while former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando had 24 percent; television host/actor Edu Manzano, 23 percent; broadcaster Jay Sonza, 13 percent; and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay, 11 percent. Dominador Chipeco Jr. got nine percent.

Aquino said he is thankful for the people’s trust in him and that the latest survey shows that the public can distinguish between black propaganda being thrown at him from the real issues.

Legarda keeps hands off ‘womanizers’

Legarda keeps hands off ‘womanizers’
By Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—All is fair in love and politics—or at least the lone woman candidate for vice president seems to think so.

The Nacionalista Party’s (NP) Loren Legarda, a self-proclaimed champion of women’s rights, is keeping her hands off the decision of NP presidential candidate Manuel Villar to seek the endorsement of three men known to have colorful histories with women.

At a forum Tuesday organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and featuring the vice presidential candidates, Legarda was asked what she had to say about Villar’s three popular endorsers—boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, comedian Dolphy and TV host Willie Revillame.

Pacquiao, a married man, was recently embroiled in a controversy over a rumored affair with a starlet. Dolphy has children with a number of women. Revillame, who’s been married several times, was accused by his ex-wife Floralice Almoro of being violent toward her and their son.

Replied Legarda: “Who am I to judge? I do not know their personal lives. They are the endorsers chosen by my presidential candidate. Who’s endorsing me is a smaller celebrity, Sarah Geronimo. She believes in my advocacy for women and the environment. Whoever the endorsers my presidential candidate got, I respect that.”

Building a country

Carefully choosing her words, Legarda added: “As for the alleged womanizing, I am not in a position to judge that unless I have private knowledge of the alleged womanizing.”

When it was pointed out to her that Dolphy had acknowledged fathering children with various women, she reiterated that she was leaving it to Villar to choose his endorsers: “If my presidential candidate is comfortable about that, I respect his decision.”
But Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, the CBCP media director, said the Church frowned on the practice of seeking endorsements from celebrities with questionable backgrounds.

“We are building a country, not a candidate. If we keep in mind that we’re building a country, we won’t do that,” he said.

According to Quitorio, endorsers are people whom others can emulate, and that logically, the candidate’s choice of endorsers reflects on his life.

“Civil society and the Church society say that people should choose candidates who have a well-rounded life. If they say that, then the same should apply to the endorsers as well. Why select a person who is immoral if our goal is to build a country?” he said.

Morality

The other vice presidential candidates weighed in on the issue.

Bagumbayan’s Bayani Fernando said it was not a good thing to get endorsers with questionable backgrounds.

“The morality of the person should be looked at, and we should not make an example out of a bad thing,” Fernando said.

Dominador Chipeco of Ang Kapatiran said a candidate would not need endorsers if he had a principled platform of governance.

“If [the platform] is desirable to the people, the voters will accept that even without the backing of endorsers. The other side of it is that those who use endorsers just prove that their platforms are unclear or their principles are lacking, which is why they have to use the popularity of endorsers,” he said.

Chipeco said his party had no money to pay for endorsements and was just relying on its own message, which, he added, had been welcomed by its audience.

Kilusang Bagong Lipunan’s Jay Sonza said the most effective endorsement was coming from the people that he had talked with.

Perfecto Yasay of Bangon Pilipinas said the practice of seeking big-name endorsers should be stopped because it made the elections only a matter of money and popularity.

He warned that with the endorsements, voters were no longer compelled to scrutinize the candidates’ background.

Generalities

At the same forum, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said the vice presidential candidates appeared not to be angry at those stealing from the public coffers.

Iñiguez, who chairs the CBCP public affairs office, told reporters that he was expecting stronger statements from the candidates regarding graft and corruption.

“[Their responses were] too general. I was expecting that they would say they are angry at the grafters and corrupters of our government in the past and in the present,” he said.

Iñiguez expressed hope that the candidates would at least be driven to implement measures to curb anomalous activities.

He said even grafters would give answers identical to those of the candidates. But he acknowledged that the time limit imposed on the latter might have prevented them from elaborating on their stand.

To Iñiguez’s question of what the candidates would do to those found involved in graft and corruption, Legarda said any kind of corruption should be stamped out through leadership by example and a cleanup of the bureaucracy.

She said the amount lost to corruption could fund many social services.

Legarda also said the judicial process should be speeded up, and that prisons should be enlarged to hold all those who would be convicted of graft and corruption.

Biggest setback

Yasay said the quick pardon of deposed leader and convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada was the biggest setback in the fight against corruption.

He said the guilty should be brought to justice.

Chipeco said corruption had long been present in the government, and that this was why the Office of the Ombudsman was put up.

He said the problem was that it was the Senate investigating questionable practices, and that those found liable were not being sent to jail.

Fernando said the justice system should be made to work, and that inquiries should be left to the police, and not to Congress.

Sonza said those who involved in wrongdoing should be brought to justice, and that even those sorry for their sins should be held accountable first.

Despite Iñiguez’s assessment, Quitorio said the vice presidential candidates acquitted themselves better than the senatorial candidates in a previous CBCP forum.

He said they appeared to be more connected to what’s happening on the ground.

Getting to know you

The CBCP is hosting the series of forums to allow the candidates to air their views on agrarian reform, mining, ancestral lands, the fisheries law, and other concerns of farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous people and women.

For the next forum, the CBCP has invited the presidential candidates. But so far, only three—Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas, John Carlos de los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran and Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan—have confirmed attendance.

The front-runner, Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party, would only commit to attending the forum if Villar, his closest rival, would also be present, according to a source privy to the preparations for the event.

Noynoy, Mar top latest Pulse Asia survey

Noynoy, Mar top latest Pulse Asia survey
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – More than a month before the May 10 elections, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III continued to dominate the presidential race, leading by 12 percentage points over his closest rival, Nacionalista Party (NP) bet Sen. Manny Villar, according to the latest survey by Pulse Asia.

Aquino’s vice presidential candidate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, also remained the top choice of a majority of Filipino voters, the same pre-election survey showed.

Aquino and Roxas said the result of Pulse Asia’s March 2010 Ulat ng Bayan survey is proof of the unwavering clamor for change by Filipinos.

Aquino obtained 37 percent voter preference compared to Villar’s 25 percent, while Roxas got 43 percent voter preference as opposed to the 23 percent and 19 percent obtained by NP vice presidential bet Sen. Loren Legarda and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino candidate Jejomar Binay, respectively.

Aquino’s rating went up by one point from 36 percent in Pulse Asia’s February 2010 survey. Villar’s score, on the other hand, dropped by four points from 29 percent in the previous survey, Pulse Asia said.

Former President Joseph Estrada of the PMP stayed in third place with 18 percent, followed by Lakas-Kampi-CMD candidate Gilberto Teodoro with seven percent.

Bagumbayan standard-bearer Sen. Richard Gordon and Bangon Pilipinas candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva obtained two percent each.

The other presidential contenders received less than one percent of the respondents’ votes. They were environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, 0.3 percent; Ang Kapatiran bet John Carlos de los Reyes, 0.2 percent; Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 0.1 percent; and disqualified candidate Vetellano Acosta of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, 0.08 percent.

Nine percent of the survey respondents refused or remained undecided as to their presidential preference.

Statistically tied

In the vice presidential race, Legarda and Binay are now “statistically tied” at second place, Pulse Asia said.

Legarda obtained 23 percent, down by four points from 27 percent last February.

Binay, on the other hand, received 19 percent.

Applying the margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, Legarda’s rating may be the same as Binay’s, said Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes.

The other contenders received support of three percent or less. They were Bagumbayan candidate Bayani Fernando, three percent; Lakas-Kampi bet Edu Manzano, two percent; and Bangon Pilipinas candidate Perfecto Yasay, one percent.

KBL candidate broadcaster Jay Sonza received 0.5 percent while Dominador Chipeco Jr. of the Ang Kapatiran got 0.1 percent.

Nine percent of voters refused or did not indicate a preference for vice president.

Mostly on top

The Pulse Asia survey used face-to-face interviews of 3,000 adult respondents, higher than the 1,800 respondents used in the previous pre-election surveys done by the survey firm.

Pulse Asia said Aquino topped in almost all areas and socio-economic classes, ranging from a low of seven percent in the balance of Luzon (Aquino, 33 percent; Villar 26 percent) to a high of 32 percent for the upper socio-economic class ABC (Aquino, 49 percent; Villar, 17 percent).

In Mindanao and the lowest socio-economic class E, Aquino’s preferences (37 percent and 34 percent) are statistically close to the preferences of Estrada (in Mindanao at 29 percent) and Villar (for Class E at 28 percent).

Compared to the February pre-election survey, Pulse Asia said the voter preferences for all the candidates are unchanged given the survey margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

The non-commissioned survey, conducted from March 21 to 28, has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Significantly higher

Pulse Asia said Roxas’ vote preferences are significantly higher than Legarda in the balance of Luzon (39 percent versus 25 percent); Visayas (51 percent versus 21 percent); Mindanao (45 percent versus 24 percent); Class ABC (54 percent versus 12 percent); and, Class D (43 percent versus 21 percent).

Registering a 40 percent voter preference, Roxas marginally leads Binay in the NCR as well as Legarda among the poorest socio-economic class E.

Roxas’ voter preference is unchanged from the February 2010 survey, while that of Legarda slightly declined, from 27 percent in February 2010 to 23 percent at present.

Binay’s support slightly increased from 15 percent in February 2010 to 19 percent in the latest survey.

Ecstatic

Aquino again expressed his gratitude to their allies, volunteers and supporters, who he said are the reason why they remain on top of the game despite heavy spending by their rivals.

He earlier “thanked” the spin masters of Villar for further boosting his campaign by attacking him with illogical and ridiculous accusations.

Aquino said the charges, which range from his interest in a security agency to his having ties with the Arroyo administration, showed how his closest rival’s propagandists are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Aquino laughed off claims that he profited from running a private security agency that operated during the administration of his late mother, President Corazon Aquino.

The LP bet said he was merely an employee of the firm, and even divested his shares in 1989 even if he was not a public official and therefore not required to do so, since he did not want the late president to be the subject of intrigues.

As for the presence of several relatives in the Arroyo administration, Aquino said they were already with the administration long before he declared his intention to run for the presidency.

He said that former Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta ran in the administration’s Team Unity ticket in 2007 while his uncle, former congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, ran against Arroyo’s brother, Arthur, for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

The LP said the continued erosion of support for Villar had virtually negated the billions he spent in radio and television advertisements since the last quarter of 2009 which boosted his ratings.

Villar’s current ratings are almost back to where he was in the December survey of Pulse Asia where he scored 23 percent as against Aquino’s 45 percent, the LP said.

Edwin Lacierda, spokesman of Aquino’s presidential campaign, said this was proof that the people were fed up with Villar’s propaganda of lies and transactional politics and that “Aquino is the only candidate capable of uniting the country under clean and honest governance.”

“The bandwagon of support has begun because the volunteers have dared to come out in numbers. Our message —there will be no poor if there are no corrupt —has been resonating. It is the only way to wake our country up from its coma,” Lacierda said.

“The people have realized that the Villarroyo tandem is no fabrication. Villar is the administration’s secret candidate,” Lacierda added. “The connections are becoming clearer everyday.”

Loser, gainer

Roxas’ camp said the drop in Legarda’s survey ratings came following her poor performance during ABS-CBN’s March 21 “Harapan: The Vice Presidential Debate,” where live audience, television viewers and online users said she was the least believable among the vice presidential candidates in the May 10 elections.

In the same debate, viewers rated Roxas as the most believable candidate.

Binay, meantime, said he is the biggest gainer among all the vice presidential candidates, with his voter support increasing from 15 percent in February to 19 percent in March.

He said it reinforces the results of the SWS-BusinessWorld survey conducted last March 19-22 that showed his ratings going up to 21 percent from 17 percent in February.

“People are realizing that only good and effective governance and not political promises can solve the worsening poverty in our country,” Binay said. – With Aurea Calica, Jose Rodel Clapano