Poe leads Pulse Asia’s December senatorial poll

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SENATOR Grace Poe-Llamanzares — PHILSTAR

SENATOR GRACE S. Poe-Llamanzares led the latest senatorial survey by Pulse Asia, conducted last December.

The 2018 Ulat ng Bayan Survey, released on Wednesday, showed that if elections were held today 75.6% of Filipino registered voters will support reelectionist Senator Poe-Llamanzares, who also led Pulse Asia’s Sept. 2018 poll.

“We are humbled by the unwavering support of our kababayan (people). This will serve both as an inspiration and challenge to continue working hard, grateful to the people for giving us the chance to help make lives a little better,” Ms. Llamanzares said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ms. Llamanzares was followed by fellow incumbent Senator Cynthia A. Villar, placing second with 66.6% overall voter preference.

Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara and Taguig City Rep. Pia S. Cayetano (2nd district) shared the 3rd and 4th places, with 58.5% and 55.4%, respectively.

Ranking 5th to 7th are reelectionist Senators Manuel M. Lapid with 49.8%, Nancy Binay-Angeles with 46.7% and Aquilino L. Pimentel III with 45.5%.

Other senatorial bets who made it to the list are former senator Sergio R. Osmeña III (38.8%, 8th to 13th places); former Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. (37.6%, 8th to 14th places); Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos (36.7%, 8th to 15th places); Jose E. Estrada (36.3%, 8th to 15th places); Ronald M. dela Rosa (35.7%, 8th to 15th places); Manuel A. Roxas (35%, 8th to 15th places); Jose Victor G. Ejercito (33.6%, 9th to 16th places); and Senator Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV (32.6%, 10th to 16th places).

It can be noted that public support for Mr. Revilla increased, after he placed 9th in the Dec. 2018 survey from 14th in Sept. 2018.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 14 to 21, through face-to-face interviews with 1,800 respondents, aged 18 years old and above.

It was held after the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Dec. 7 acquitted Mr. Revilla of plunder charges in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Co-accused Mr. Estrada, in contrast, dropped to 11th place from 7th in the Sept. 2018. Mr. Estrada’s case for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam is still pending in the anti-graft court.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party (LP) bets fell short in the quarterly poll, which showed only Messrs. Roxas and Aquino secured a place among the candidates with the highest chances.

Other LP bets Lorenzo R. Tañada, Jose Manuel I. Diokno, incumbent Magdalo Rep. Gary C. Alejano and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis were in the 22nd to 55th ranking.

The survey also found that 43% of the registered voters already have a complete slate of senatorial candidates; while 2.2% refuse to identify the candidates they will vote for ahead of the elections in May.

In a statement, Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, campaign manager of the LP candidates, said in part, “The election is still a long way away. We are confident the Filipinos will be discerning enough to elect candidates who will work for the best interest of the Filipino family.”

Sought for comment, political science professor Marlon M. Villain of the University of Santo Tomas said in part, “This is a given fact considering that the Liberal Party failed to attract better candidate(s) (who are) both politically and socially sound…. (T)his also partially shows that maybe the pulse of the people preferring candidates (who) can be politically and socially cooperative with the administration’s agenda.”