Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saving Gibo: Lagging numbers don’t faze Palace strategists


Original Story:

MALACAÑANG yesterday said it is too early for administration presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. to throw in the towel especially since a recent survey conducted with the participation of the election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting showed him already climbing to second place early March.

"Hindi pa po tapos ang laban... it is certainly too early for anybody to say na dapat mag-give up ang administrasyon sa tsansa ng kanilang standard bearer," said Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesman.

Olivar said the Palace still believes that Teodoro is the most qualified of all the presidential candidates and hopes that Filipino voters would realize it in the end.

The tracking poll done by political research outfit The Campaigns & Image Group conducted with PPCRV, which was done in the week ending March 7, showed Manuel Villar Jr. (Nacionalista Party) remaining on top with 31 percent of the 5,100 respondent-voters.

Teodoro followed with 24 percent, Benigno Aquino III (Liberal Party) with 20 percent, Joseph Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino) with 13 percent, Richard Gordon (Bagumbayan) with 5 percent, and evangelist Eddie Villanueva (Bangon Pilipinas) with 2 percent.

The survey was based on the question: "Who among the 10 presidential candidates do you think is capable of governing the Philippines and for whom will you be voting for the presidency?"

Campaigns & Image, in its analysis, has attributed Teodoro’s climb in the race -- from single-digit in December 2009 to 24 percent -- to the political machinery of the administration party and Teodoro’s efforts to touch base with local politicians seeking reelection.

It said Teodoro’s campaign relies heavily on a large network of volunteers in colleges and universities, which put him in the consciousness of voters in the 18-39 age bracket. It predicted that Teodoro’s ratings would surge further once the campaign for the local posts kicks off on March 26.

Olivar urged Filipino voters not to rely too much on surveys in picking the candidates they would vote for.

Villar and Aquino are neck-to-neck in the recent Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys, with Teodoro placing only fourth.

Olivar said the only criterion in voting should be who would be the best one to lead the country.

"Huwag tayong bumoto dahilan lamang sa mukhang mananalo ang kandidatong ito o mukhang nangunguna sa mga surveys. Yun ang pinakamasamang dahilan para bumoto sa isang tao…Win or lose, iboto po natin kung sino sa palagay natin ang tama," he said.

Teodoro asked voters, especially the youth, not to let survey results influence them in voting or rooting for a particular candidate. He said they should instead focus on the candidate’s qualifications and capability to lead the country.

He asked them to junk the "losers’ mentality" wherein individuals opt to give their ballots to candidates of lesser competence on the belief that the candidate of their choice will not win anyway.

Teodoro expressed confidence his platform of governance would be well taken by voters once his political advertisements and infomercials are aired and displayed more frequently before the end of this month.

Teodoro’s campaign spokesman, Mike Toledo, said the ratings improvement could be attributed to "more intelligent voters who want a credible and competent choice."

He said Teodoro’s double-digit rating also showed the Filipino voter "is no longer swayed by candidates’ staged spectacles and unsubstantiated self-promotion gimmicks."

Toledo said Teodoro’s rating will continue to rise, with support from local officials providing 10 to 15 percent."

"And that is a conservative estimate considering that Lakas is one of the strongest political parties in the country," Toledo said.

Seventy percent of local government candidates are affiliated with Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

Original Story:

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