NP on Pulse Asia survey: Villar can still recover

NP on Pulse Asia survey: Villar can still recover

MANILA, Philippines – NP senatorial candidate and spokesman Gilbert Remulla said on Friday the latest Pulse Asia survey results where their standard-bearer Manny Villar fell 6 percentage points was still a “considerable strong showing despite being the target of attacks by his rivals from various political camps.”

He said that while Villar “lost some grounds, the real story is that his closest rival, Aquino, will never be able to recover his previous high rating of 50 percent to 60 percent” in the third quarter of 2009.

“We welcome the latest Pulse Asia results and we vow to work harder next time. It’s still two months away before elections. Our seven-point deficit is recoverable compared to the 24 percentage points lost by the closest rival,” Remulla said.

The NP camp said Villar has been attacked by Sen. Richard Gordon and former President Joseph Estrada for alleged attempts at buying them out of the presidential race in exchange for funding reimbursement. (Read: Gordon says Villar tried to buy him out of the race/ Erap reveals ‘bribe’ try to back out of race)

Remulla said these were part of a “villification pattern,” or “lies spewed by the rivals of Villar,” which include the “fantastic insinuation that he is the secret candidate of the corrupt [Arroyo] administration.”

He said Villar was “still on track” in the race since he was only 7 percentage points behind Aquino.

What is more noteworthy in the survey, Remulla added, was Aquino’s fall from around 60% in 2009 to 36% in the February 21-25 Pulse Asia survey.

‘Yet another NP spin’

Meanwhile, Aquino’s campaign spokesman Edwin Lacierda described Remulla’s response to the Pulse Asia survey as trying to “pull of another typical NP spin on it.”

“The Nacionalistas seem to think that the Filipino voter has a memory as deficient as their capacity to conduct an honest campaign. When the TNS [Taylor Nelson Sofres] survey came out, Remulla said, and I quote, ‘Alam namin na ito ay galing sa Liberal Party. Ayaw nilang banggitin ‘yung pangalan eh. Dahil doon, hindi rin namin alam kung ano ‘yung mga tanong, kung ano ang slant n’yan, kaya sa ganon ay hihintayin na lang namin ang magiging resulta ng survey ng SWS at Pulse Asia’,” Lacierda recalled.

Lacierda said the real story in the latest survey is Villar’s fall in his rating from 35% to 29% “despite an unprecedented political ad spending spree—the most lavish in the history of this country.”

“The numbers do not correspond with the money dole out simply because the Filipino people are tired, they want change, and can now smell the stench of corruption no matter how expensive the perfume,” Lacierda said.

According to a study, Villar spent P1.2 billion in political ads from November 1 to February 8. This was around 50% of the P2.5 billion ad spending of all candidates in the period of the study. (Read: Villar’s ads exceed combined airtime of 5 rivals)