Saturday, May 1, 2010

Villar blasts Erap on ratings drop

by Fel V. Maragay

Original Story:

Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Senator Manuel Villar on Thursday blamed former President Joseph Estrada’s attack on him over the alleged irregularity in the stock trading of his real estate firm for the setback he suffered in the presidential survey of Pulse Asia last month.

Villar maintained that there was nothing anomalous about the initial public offering of the Vista Land and Lifescapes owned by his family.

But Villar said the allegation by Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that there was manipulation in the stock trading of Vista Land was obviously timed with the Pulse Asia’s field survey in a bid to discredit him.

Estrada and Enrile held a press conference on the Vista Land scandal on April 22, or a day before Pulse Asia conducted actual field interviews of respondents on April 23 to 25.

“They seemed to know when the field survey would be conducted. And that explains why this issue has surfaced. Why did they have to resort to this trick?” Villar asked newsmen after addressing a campaign rally at the provincial sports complex in Malolos, Bulacan.

Estrada however said that it was farthest from his mind to besmirch the reputation of a political rival or to engage in black propaganda when he raised the issue of Vista Land public offering. He said he agreed to expose the alleged scam only after Enrile was able to gather adequate documentary evidence.

Villar said survey results can either be acceptable or not to him depending on certain factors or circumstances. But with respect to this particular Pulse Asia poll, he said he found the results unacceptable.

Villar said this is because the survey respondents must have been influenced by the Estrada-Enrile expose on Vista Land deal.

Earlier, he vehemently denied the allegation that he exerted pressure on the board of directors of the Philippine Stocks Exchange to secure approval of the public offering of Vista Land stocks, including the lifting of the “lock-up” rule to allow majority stockholders to sell their personal shares within a prescribed period. PSE officials assured that the deal was approved in conformity with rules. But Estrada countered that Villar was “lying.”

With l,800 respondents, the Pulse Asia survey showed Estrada tying with Villar in the number two slot as they were credited with a similar score of 20 percent.

Liberal Party standard bearer Benigno Aquino III garnered 39 percent, for a l9 point lead over Estrada and Villar.

In the vice presidential race, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has overtaken Senator Loren Legarda with a significant lead of 9 percentage points. Binay obtained 28 percent compared to Legada’s 20 points.

Legarda, Villar’s runningmate, branded the survey results as “inaccurate” and intended to be used for “trending and mind-conditioning of voters.

“We should not allow ourselves to be affected by surveys because we are strong on the ground, and that is what matters,” told the same press conference.

Pulse Asia chief research fellow Ana Maria Tabunda said it is a common practice for certain candidates to step up their propaganda campaign against their opponents to coincide field interviews of pollsters.

But Pulse Asia president Richard Homes said they see to it that the date of their field surveys are kept secret. Besides, he said the April survey was an independent undertaking and had not been commissioned by any group or individual.

Legarda railed that their political enemies “have mastered the art of black propaganda, lies and slander.”

She also questioned the credibility of the pre-election surveys of Pulse Asia, pointing out that one of the owners of the research outfit is the cousin of one of the presidential candidates.

Legarda was referring to Rapa Lopa, former president of Pulse Asia and first cousin of Aquino. But Holmes said Lopa had divested from the survey firm since Aquino joined the presidential race.

Original Story:

No comments:

Post a Comment