Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Noynoy, Mar most trusted candidates - Pulse Asia

By Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star
Updated March 18, 2010
2:00 AM

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines - The Liberal Party (LP) said yesterday its standard-bearer, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and his running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II were the most trusted by Filipino voters among public figures and among all candidates running in the presidential and vice-presidential elections on May 10, according to a Pulse Asia survey.

In contrast, voters’ trust for their rivals, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. and his running mate, Sen. Loren Legarda’s ratings declined, with Villar suffering a double-digit drop.

According to LP, the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted from Feb. 21 to 25 among 1,800 respondents also showed Aquino and Roxas topping voters’ preferences for president and vice president, respectively if elections were held today.

Pulse Asia said Aquino enjoyed the “big trust” of 64 percent of Filipino voters, making him the most trusted candidate for president. Only 14 percent of voters said they had “small/no trust” for Aquino, with the rest undecided.

Roxas, on the other hand, still earned the highest trust among Filipino voters with 70 percent saying they had “big trust” in him, with only 10 percent having “small/no trust” and the rest undecided.

Villar’s ratings dipped to 59 percent due to an 11-point drop among Filipinos with ”big trust” in him.

Legarda’s trust rating likewise went down to 58 percent, or a drop of three percent from her January trust rating.

Among the presidential candidates, former President Joseph Estrada came third with 40 percent, followed by administration standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. with 29 percent and Sen. Richard Gordon with a 25 percent rating.

In the vice presidential race, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay came third, with only 45 percent; former Metro Manila Development Authority chief Bayani Fernando with 22 percent and actor Edu Manzano, 19 percent.

Aquino and Roxas are campaigning on a platform of good governance and transformational leadership. They promised to open their bank accounts to public scrutiny to stress their commitment to wipe out graft and corruption in government.

Noynoy: I did not mean to offend Erap

Meanwhile in a sortie in Naga City in Camarines Sur, Senator Aquino clarified yesterday that he did not mean to offend former President Joseph Estrada and that he should have pointed out a fair trial was a prerequisite to any pardon.

Aquino was earlier quoted as saying it was wrong for President Arroyo to have pardoned Estrada and the soldiers accused of being part of conspiracy to kill his father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

He said there must be certainty of punishment to those convicted of crimes. He reiterated he would create a commission to resolve the cases involving Mrs. Arroyo such as the “Hello, Garci” and the national broadband network deal controversies and the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

“The part that I was not able to mention was that if there was justness in the trial. To get a conviction, you must deserve your sentence,” Aquino told reporters.

“But the context of what I said was that, how could you forgive and grant pardon when there was no fair trial and in the case of my (father’s assassination), there was no admission of guilt,” Aquino said.

He said what was imposed on Estrada after his trial on plunder was questionable and that should be the context of his statement.

Aquino said he would have to review what he said exactly and that it should be noted that the justice who convicted Estrada was immediately promoted after the trial.

He suggested Estrada did not get a fair trial.

“Maybe the (promotion) was due, but it came too soon after the decision (on Estrada’s) case,” Aquino said.

Aquino also said he only wanted to emphasize that those proven guilty after fair trial must be meted the punishment according to the laws.

He said this was the reason why he said he would create a commission to handle the cases of Mrs. Arroyo.

MalacaƱang said Aquino should work to win first before eyeing the prosecution of Mrs. Arroyo, which it claimed to be part of the LP bet’s political campaigning.

“I hope they got the context right. I was asked what I would do if elected. Anyway, they are quite consistent with their refusal to face issues, what can we expect from them? But the non-closure of issues will not help our country any, they weakened a lot of institutions,” Aquino said.

‘Up to Kris to take a leave’

Aquino also said yesterday it would be up to his sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino-Yap to decide on whether to take a leave from her shows during the campaign period.

Kris said she was thinking of saying goodbye to the showbiz talk show The Buzz because of criticisms she had been getting. She had also been complaining that she was being considered a liability to her brother.

She has three others shows at ABS-CBN Channel 2.

“It’s her decision. But it’s me who got into this and the campaign should be my primary responsibility,” Aquino said.

“I think she’s old enough to decide for herself. She has been helping me in so many ways. In this people’s campaign, we do not want to impose on anyone, whether relatives or not, if they voluntarily help in the campaign, we are thankful, whoever they are,” Aquino said.

Aquino said he was proud of his sister and the other showbiz personalities who were making a stand during these crucial elections.

Even if Kris takes a leave, Aquino said he was not expecting the black propaganda against him and his family to stop.

He said only Baby James, son of Kris, had been spared of criticisms thrown against their family.

‘Worse than Marcos’

Meanwhile in Daet, Camarines Sur, Sen. Aquino rated President Arroyo as a leader worse than the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos because she had the tenacity to muzzle institutions when the country had supposedly become more democratic.

The Liberal Party also said it was not concerned about the attacks from MalacaƱang and welcomed the “non-endorsement” from Mrs. Arroyo.

In an interview with reporters on Tuesday night after a rally here, Aquino said Mrs. Arroyo pushed the country backwards instead of strengthening the democratic institutions put in place after the late strongman was ousted in a peaceful people power revolution on Edsa in 1986.

Earlier, Aquino said Mrs. Arroyo disrespected the Office of the President.

He said this was the reason why he would like to have a commission to handle all the cases against Mrs. Arroyo, if elected, so that all the issues against her would be resolved. Aquino said this body would run after ill-gotten wealth of the Arroyos, if there were any.

“The lack of closure on many issues does not help the country, we are weakening many institutions,” Aquino said.

Aquino and his running mate, Senator Roxas would visit the Ilocos region today to campaign. Aquino said he was expecting at least a civil reception in the Marcos bailiwick.

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