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Instead of sounding the alarm bells, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Monday expressed surprise that preference for Vice President Jejomar Binay as the next President slipped by only 10 percentage points despite the corruption-related controversies he was facing.
“Given the very challenging and rough times that the Vice President faced in the past weeks, we expected a bigger decline—but the latest survey results are a surprise for us,” UNA interim president and Navotas Representative Tobias “Toby Tiangco said in a statement.
Results of the latest Pulse Asia survey released earlier in the day showed significant drop in the number of Filipinos who were inclined to vote for Binay as their next President.
Despite the decline, Binay, UNA’s presumptive standard-bearer remained as the top choice for the presidency, with a lead of 18 percentage points over second placer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Roxas is said to be the sole choice of the ruling Liberal Party to run as President in 2016.
Tiangco said the survey results showed the public remained confident Binay was capable of solving the country’s problems.
“The latest figures will only motivate the Vice President to improve the bar of public service, and no amount of smear and slander can shake him,” the opposition stalwart said, adding the public was aware the allegations against the Vice President were part of a ploy by administration allies to drag him down.
Binay and members of his family have been accused of benefiting from the alleged overpricing of the P2.7-billion Makati City Hall Building II.
With the Vice President maintaining his lead in the roster of preferred presidential candidates, UNA expects the smear campaign and rumors against the Binay to continue.
Tiangco said Binay would continue to remain focused on his job, which include assisting distressed overseas Filipino workers as presidential adviser on OFW affairs and providing shelter to the homeless as the administration’s housing czar.
“We expect the [attacks] against the Vice President to continue but he is ready to endure all of this if he has to go through these hardships to realize his dream of giving Filipinos free education, free health services and special care for the elderly, just like what he did in Makati City,” Tiangco said. —NB, GMA News