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Miriam disputes credibility of poll surveys

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Friday questioned the credibility of pre-election surveys where she has been consistently ranking last among the five presidential candidates.

“No one believes in surveys anymore. In the first place, it’s all over social media that my name has been removed from some of the forms used in these surveys so that respondents would be forced to vote for other candidates,” Santiago said in a statement.

Santiago made the same claim in a chance interview with reporters at the sidelines of her homecoming speech before supporters at the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo City on Wednesday.

Santiago said reports have reached her office that some respondents in the recent pre-election surveys of certain research firms claimed that they had to write down her name on the survey form as it was not among the options provided. Others allegedly said they chose “Undecided” instead.

However, Santiago did not elaborate which among the research firms allegedly did not include her name in their survey questionnaires.

She instead warned the public to guard themselves against  “mind-conditioning” by moneyed candidates and their wealthy supporters.

Santiago has been lagging behind in the recent poll surveys of research firms Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station (SWS).

Her voter preference rating was ranging between two percent to three percent while the percentage of undecided voters in the surveys was ranging between three percent to four percent.

Despite this, Santiago said the surveys she is inclined to believe are those led by student organizations or campus publications. She has been topping several campus mock elections and social media surveys since the filing of certificates of candidacy in October last year.

Santiago had earlier stated that the youth vote will be the key to her victory.

“The candidate with the greatest youth support has greater chances of winning not only because of the sheer size of the youth vote but also because of their persuasive power. People listen to the young because it is their future at stake,” Santiago said.

Based on the data of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), more than half or 24.73 million out of the 54.36 million registered voters for the May elections belong to the youth bracket or those aged 17 to 34.

With barely a month before the May 9 elections, Santiago said she intends to deliver more speeches in colleges and universities to get the votes of the youth.

She is scheduled to deliver a speech at the main campus of the Saint Louis University in Baguio City on Saturday. -- VVP, GMA News