SENATOR Grace Poe-Llamanzares led a list of possible senatorial candidates already in the voting public’s consideration with 70.8% of respondents voting for her, according to a survey last month by Pulse Asia.
Also making it to the top 12 senatorial preferences in the polling group’s March 23-28 survey are Davao mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio (43.8%), retired chief of the Philippine National Police Ronald “Bato” M. Dela Rosa (33.1%), and broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo (36.7%).
Rounding up the top 12 are reelectionists Cynthia A. Villar (55.6%), Maria Lourdes Binay-Angeles (45.8%), and current Senate leader Aquilino Martin L. Pimentel III (39.8%), as well as former senators Pia S. Cayetano (53.8%), Jinggoy Estrada (32.8%), Lito Lapid (33.8%), and Sergio dlR. Osmeña III (38%).
At the tailend of that list are reelectionists Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV (30.5%) and Joseph Victor G. Ejercito (29%), and Ilocos Norte Governor Maria Imelda Josefa R. Marcos (32.2%.
The survey, which polled 1,200 respondents, showed 57% of Filipinos “already have 12 preferred senatorial candidates for the elections of May 2019.”
“Majority figures obtain in virtually all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (53% to 68% and 59%, respectively), with the exception of Metro Manila and Class ABC (42% and 41%, respectively),” Pulse Asia also noted.
Mr. Aquino, the lone Liberal Party member who made it to the first 15, said the survey shows the need for dissenting voices in the government.
Mr. Ejercito said running with his brother in next year’s election “will definitely be a tough challenge” but expressed hope that “performance, track record and clean, unblemished record as a public official will help pull it through.”
Mr. Pimentel noted that the survey was conducted more than a year ahead and said the results could still change over time.
Of the 20 names included in the temporary senatorial line-up of the ruling PDP-Laban on Thursday, four have yet to make an impression on the voting public: Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid G. Mangudadatu, singer-songwriter Freddie Aguilar, and journalist Jiggy Manicad.
The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3% at the 95% confidence level while subnational estimates from Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have a margin of error of +/-6% also at the 95% confidence level. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz