Revilla, Estrada lead senatorial race in Pulse survey; Miriam among top gainers
Two senatorial bets of the Nacionalista Party (NP) — former congressman Gilbert Remulla and lawyer Gwendolyn Pimentel — and one from the Liberal Party, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, also posed significant improvements but their ratings did not place them at the Top 12, Pulse Asia said.
Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada topped the survey conducted February 21 to 25, with 53.6 percent and 52.6 percent, respectively. The two reelectionists' ratings improved from last month's Pulse Asia's survey, which they also bested. In the January 22 to 26 poll, Revilla got a 51.9-percent voteer preference rating while Estrada got 50.4 percent.
Among the senatorial candidates who ranked among the Top 12 in the February survey, Santiago — who ranked third overall with 49.4 percent — posted the biggest jump of 8.2 percentage points.
Pimentel improved by 11.4 percentage points, Remulla by 10.5 percentage points, and Hontiveros by 5.8 percentage points. The ratings of the three, however, were not enough to rank them within the Top 12.
Former senators dominate list
With the survey's ± 2 percent margin of error, 14 candidates "have a statistical chance of gaining a seat in the Philippine Senate," Pulse Asia said.
Aside from Revilla, Estrada, and Santiago, seven others among the 14 had previous stints in the Senate. These are Senator Pia Cayetano (45.4 percent), former Senate President Franklin Drilon (45 percent), incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (43.8 percent), former Senator and Dangerous Drugs Board chair Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (33.2 percent), former Senator and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto (33.1) percent, former Senator Sergio Osmeña III, (29.1 percent), and Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid (25.8 percent).
The rest of the 14 senatorial candidates who did not have previous stints in the Senate are all sons of well-known politicians: Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (28.2 percent), son and namesake of the late strongman; Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III (24.3 percent), son and namesake of the former vice president; businessman Jose "Joey" De Venecia III, son and namesake of the former House Speaker; and Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, son of Senator Rodolfo Biazon.
Lacson biggest decline
The ratings of author Alex Lacson of the Liberal Party posed the most significant decline of 10.9 percentage points, Pulse Asia said.
Lacson, who previously garnered 19.1 percent, sank to only 8.2 percent in the February survey.
The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews with 1,800 respondents nationwide aged 18 and above.
Among the political developments within the month the survey was taken was Senator Manuel Villar Jr.'s delivery of his speech before his Senate colleagues reiterating his innocence in connection with the C-5 road extension project controversy and the failure of the senators to vote on the report of the Senate Committee of the Whole seeking to censure Villar; alleged plans of administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD to field President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as its bet for House Speaker in the 15th Congress; and various problems related to the May 10 elections such as the delay in the printing of ballots and delivery of couting machines, the threat of cellphone jammers disrupting the transmission of results, and the lack of telecommunications facilities in certain provinces. - RSJ, GMANews.TV