Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Noynoy enjoys good lead - LP

By Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star
Updated December 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines - The Liberal Party (LP) said yesterday its standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III continues to enjoy a wide lead over his rivals as shown in a separate questioning of respondents on their preferred successor to the presidency in the Nov. 4 to 8 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Aquino’s campaign manager Florencio Abad said the side survey showed a 47 percent voter support for Aquino and only 20 percent for closest rival Sen. Manuel Villar.

As reported earlier, the latest SWS survey sought 1,200 respondents to name three leaders they want installed as the next president. Fifty nine percent of the respondents mentioned Aquino while 45 percent named Villar.

SWS claimed it did not provide a list of names to guide the respondents.

Aquino himself said the survey might be an inaccurate reflection of voter sympathy in the 2010 elections since it does not show the lead proportions in a 100 percent scale.

He said the next survey would be more accurate because candidates have already formalized their candidacy.

Abad said that in the same survey, respondents were asked to name just one leader they want to succeed as president. In the “choose one” survey, 47 percent of respondents supported Aquino, while 20 percent supported Villar.

“The (newspaper) articles presented only the results to the question requiring respondents to choose three presidential candidates they liked,” he said, referring to earlier reports of the survey.

In the side survey, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who had pulled out of the race, was supported by 12 percent of the respondents, former President Joseph Estrada by 12 percent, Vice President Noli de Castro by three percent, former Defense secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. by three percent, former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando by one percent, and spiritual leader Eddie Villanueva by one percent.

Receiving voter support of less than a percent in the side survey are Sen. Richard Gordon, 0.5 percent; Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 0.4 percent; Puerto Prinsesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, 0.1; environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, 0.1 percent; former Public Works secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, 0.

A percent of the voters are undecided.

“This (side survey) more accurate approach was the one that really reflected the sentiments of the people… All these data are in the same SWS survey conducted Nov. 4 to 8 as commissioned by Mayor Hagedorn of Puerto Prinsesa,” he added.

Abad said “push-polling” is a “traditional politicians’” technique to bring a frontrunner’s numbers down.

“The public should know that the numbers being trumpeted by our opponents do not show the real picture,” Abad said.

Gibo can move up in ratings

MalacaƱang remained confident that administration standard-bearer former Defense secretary Teodoro would move up in the survey ratings once he gets more exposure outside Metro Manila.

Teodoro ranked fifth in the “choose three” SWS survey, mentioned by eight percent of respondents.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that in the past, there were candidates, like President Arroyo and former President Fidel Ramos, who ranked low in the ratings but won the election.

“The strategy is to have Secretary Teodoro move to the provinces so his presence will be felt and known,” Ermita said.

“We still have five months for Teodoro and (Edu) Manzano to go around the country and introduce themselves to the voters.”

Election-related surveys inconsistent

In a statement, professors of the University of the Philippines said the discrepancies in the results of election- related surveys need to be explained to the public, otherwise, it will cast doubts on the accuracy of all election-related surveys.

Dr. Prospero de Vera III, professor of UP College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) cited the study conducted by the Issues and Advocacy Center (IAC), which showed that Aquino has a voter support of only 30 percent, and Villar has 23 percent.

The survey said Aquino’s popularity was on “stationary dive.”

The survey was conducted by professor Edgardo Malay, publicist of former president Ramos.

Professor Roxanne Girlie Cipriano of the Department of Communication Research of the UP College of Mass Communication said the IAC survey is “full of inconsistencies.”

She said the terminologies used by the survey group “do not fit the time-honored lingo and practice of the science of research.”

“There is no such thing as a ‘stationary dive’, ‘significantly dropped’, or ‘pro-rated’,” she said.

She said the wrong use of terminologies raises serious questions about the professional competence of the group.

De Vera said polling groups should present the methods of the surveys to the public.

“It is time that we demand more accountability from the groups behind these surveys, including their owners, directors and analysts, and who pays for their surveys. If we do not do anything, we will be at the mercy of spin masters and manufactured information,” he said. –with Marvin Sy, Ding Cervantes

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