Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Noynoy, Villar, Chiz top SWS poll

By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star
Updated December 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Original Story: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=532964&publicationSubCategoryId=63

MANILA, Philippines - Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manny Villar are the top choices of Filipinos as the next president, the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents supported Aquino, while 45 percent backed Villar.

The survey, commissioned by Puerto Prinsesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, was conducted from Nov. 4 to 8.

The 1,200 adults surveyed were asked to name three leaders they want to succeed President Arroyo.

SWS said no list of names was provided to guide the respondents.

The respondents were asked the question: Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang Konstitusyon, ang termino ni Pangulong Arroyo ay hanggang sa taong 2010 lamang at magkakaroon ng halalan para sa pagkapangulo sa Mayo 2010. Sinu-sino sa palagay ninyo ang mga magagaling na lider na dapat pumalit kay Pangulong Arroyo bilang presidente? Maaari po kayong magbanggit ng hanggang tatlong sagot. (Under the present Constitution, the term of President Arroyo is up to 2010, and there will be a presidential election in May 2010. Who do you think are good leaders who should replace President Arroyo as president? You may give up to three answers.)

Following Aquino and Villar are Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, supported by 27 percent of respondents, and former President Joseph Estrada with 18 percent.

Former defense chief Gilbert Teodoro was the choice of eight percent of respondents, Sen. Loren Legarda by four percent, and Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II by three percent.

Vice President Noli de Castro was preferred by three percent of respondents.

Mentioned by a percent of the respondents were Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Bangon Pilipinas party standard-bearer Eddie Villanueva, and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando.

Two percent of respondents answered only “Aquino,” considered “unspecified” by SWS.

The survey has error margins of plus or minus three percentage points.

Aquino’s popularity based on perception of integrity

Aquino’s campaign manager Butch Abad said Noynoy’s popularity is based on people’s perception of his integrity, which people equate to having a government with less corruption and more resources for their economic needs should he succeed as president.

They expect this perception to be sustained through the May elections.

“It’s not just the perception of integrity of Noynoy that endears him to the people, but also their awareness that curbing corruption means more basic services for them,” Abad said in a telephone interview with The STAR.

Abad said voters began prioritizing the integrity of presidential aspirants after the death of Noynoy’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

“Before the death of President Cory (Aquino) and the entry of Noynoy (in the presidential race), integrity was always below in the order of priorities of voters. They had wanted a provider. But the death of President Cory made people realize that they now want a leader who is clean and not corrupt,” Abad said.

He said this new outlook “came as a surprise,” considering many Filipinos are still mired in poverty.

Abad interprets this as the people’s realization that corruption in government has deprived them of basic services and economic opportunities.

Political analyst Angelito Banayo said Aquino has strong chances of winning in the elections but warned his handlers of a possible shift in the priorities of voters because of the economic crunch expected to be felt during the Christmas season.

Abad also downplayed the results of a survey conducted by professor Edgardo Malay of the the Issues and Advocacy Center from Sept. 3 to 6 showing that Aquino’s popularity rating has declined 30 percent.

Malay, publicist of former President Fidel Ramos, said Aquino’s popularity was on “stationary dive.”

In the survey, 1,200 respondents nationwide were asked: Who would you vote for from among the list of 13 known presidential aspirants if elections were to be held today?

Thirty percent or 360 of the respondents said they would vote for Aquino while 23 percent or 276 respondents said they would go for Villar.

The survey had an error margin of plus or minus 2.8 percent and a confidence level of 95 percent.

Abad said he does not know how the survey was conducted but noted that the result varied from the surveys done by SWS and Pulse Asia.

“I don’t want to cast aspersions on anyone involved in that survey, but there is no doubt that SWS and Pulse Asia have more corporate subscribers,” he said.

Aquino: Survey inaccurate reflection of voter sympathy

While grateful for the result of the new SWS survey, Aquino said it might be an inaccurate reflection of voter sympathy in the 2010 elections.

He said the numbers are inflated when people are allowed to choose more than one presidential candidate and the actual results would be more than 100 percent.

He also said he has no reason to be worried even if his lead becomes narrower in a “choose or name three” kind of survey.

“If the lead will become smaller in the choose-one-survey, then that will be a source of concern for me,” Aquino told reporters.

He said the next survey would be a better gauge of voter sympathy because candidates had already formalized their candidacy. With Ding Cervantes, Aurea Calica

Original Story: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=532964&publicationSubCategoryId=63

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