By Catherine S Valente/Manila Times
Re-electionist and returning senators led the latest pre-election survey that also placed the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, in the so-called “Magic 12” for the 2019 senatorial poll.
Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and former senator and now Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano topped the survey conducted by Pulse Asia from March 23 to 28.
Duterte ranked sixth, after re-electionists Nancy Binay and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.
Completing the Top 12 were Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, former senators Sergio Osmena, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, and former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa.
Poe – the frontrunner in the 2010 senatorial elections who lost her bid for the presidency in 2016 – was the choice of
70.8% of survey respondents.
She was followed by Villar with 55.6%, Cayetano with
53.9%, Binay with 45.8%, Angara with 44.9% and Duterte with 43.8%.
Pimentel got 39.8%, followed by Osmena with 38%, Tulfo with 36.7%, Lapid with 33.8%, De la Rosa with 33.1%, and Estrada with 32.8%.
Trailing in the survey were Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos (32.2%), Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino (30.5%), Sen. Jose Victor Ejercito (29.0%), and television personalities Robin Padilla (26.2%), Ted Failon (25.6%) and Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes (16.8%).
Politicians Herbert Bautista (26.2%), Manuel “Mar” Roxas (25.4%), Teofisto “TG” Guingona (17.5%), Rex Gatchalian (16.7%), Francis Tolentino (14.6%), Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso (13.9%), Karlo Alexei Nograles (10.6%) and Lucy Torres-Gomez (8.1%) ranked low on the list.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s former environment secretary Gina Lopez got 14%, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr had
8.7%, while Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar got 8.4%.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go got 5.9%, while Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson received 1.3%.
The results showed that only 4.5% of Filipinos did not express support for any of the 58 personalities included in the Pulse survey.
Less than one percent of respondents refused to identify the senatorial candidates they planned to vote for, and to not knowing whom to vote for in the May 2019 senatorial race.
The survey, conducted using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults aged 18 years old and above, had error an margin of + or – 3% at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates’ error margin stood at + or – 6% at the 95% confidence level. Five re-electionist senators belonging to the majority bloc are likely to be included in the “final” list of the senatorial slate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in the 2019 midterm elections for supporting the Duterte administration’s legislative agenda.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel made the remark on Friday in a television interview when asked whether re-electionist senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, and Cynthia Villar will eventually land on the final list of PDP-Laban’s candidates in next year’s senatorial race.
“It is quite definite that they will seek reelection. And they’ve got good standing if you look at the surveys. All the reasons are present to include them (in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate),” he said.
“We passed a lot of laws which were among the promises of President Duterte during the campaign,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel on Thursday said that aside from the five re-electionist senators, the following were being considered to form part of the PDP-Laban senatorial team: congressmen Robert Ace Barbers, Alfredo Benitez, Karlo Nograles, Zajid Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, Rey Umali, Pia Cayetano, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr., Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino, Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, former interior secretary Rafael Alunan, journalist Jiggy Manicad and singer-composer Freddie Aguilar.
To qualify for inclusion in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate, candidates must support federalism, Pimentel said.
“Otherwise, we will be out of tune in the campaign (trail). For example, one speaker will express support for federalism and then the next speaker will give hints against federalism. That is not acceptable,” he said.
Angara on Friday said: “We are very grateful for the positive result of the latest (Pulse) survey showing us among the winners’ circle and it will definitely serve as an inspiration to work harder for our countrymen, and to push for better laws and policy reforms.”
Ejercito believes his good standing in the survey will further give him an advantage over other aspirants to be included in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate. “It will help.” “But the challenge is having two siblings (running for the Senate in 2019),” Ejercito said in a text message, referring to former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada. “It’s quite difficult. Even in local elections, people just choose one.”
Pimentel said retired national police chief and now Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa was not on the list because the latter did not express his intention to seek a Senate seat next year.
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