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Legarda-Escudero Ticket A Sure Bet For 2010? (UPDATED)

April 28, 2009

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Are Filipinos ready for another female chief executive when the highly unpopular Gloria Macapagal Arroyo steps down next year?

Well, if we go by a Pulse Asia Survey done some 9 months ago, from 1st to the 14th of July last year it does appear so.

The survey data was shared with this writer and several other journalists invited for lunch today at the Manila Polo Club by Senator Loren Legarda.

loren-dingg-nyls-montage(First Panel, L-R: Sen. Legarda, Alyn, the author, Ricky Rivers)

Legarda hosted the event for Arlyn Dela Cruz to mark the 7th anniversary of the gritty newshen’s release from the clutches of the Abu Sayyaf.

That ordeal which lasted some 3 months ended through the quiet intercession of Legarda.

“I had just suffered a miscarriage then,” Legarda recalled, “but I felt it was my Christian duty to help Arlyn.”

“We realized that as my unborn child’s life was lost, it was redeemed by the release of Arlyn who has two girls of her own, with the youngest being only two years old when Dela Cruz was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf, the lady senator said.

On the Pulse Asia Survey of July 2008, the data tracked the sentiment of Filipino voters about three poosibly presidential and vice presidential pairs: Senators Legarda and Francis Escudero, Senator Manny Villar Vice President Noli De Castro, with the third pair being Senators Mar Roxas and Franci Pangilinan.

The data is by no means definitive as to how the sample tandems will actually fare at the polls if they were held today.

But as dipsticks go, the results are certainly instructive as with the Legarda-Escudero pairing polling a high og 40% among ‘D’ class voters, 43% among the ABC class, and 38% among the ‘E’ group.

Trailing the tandem considerably are the Villa-De Castro and Roxas-Pangilinan pairings.

This can hold particular value for Senators Escudero and Legarda who both belong to the Danding Cojuangco-led Nationalist People’s Coalition.

It is significant in that Legarda has variously been reported in press reports as “not exactly the favored NPC bet, with party elders leaning toward Chiz Escudero.”

“I am continuing to talk to my local leaders trying to discern what to do in 2010 but I am giving myself until July to make an official declaration,” Senator Loren told us over lunch.

Asked about whether another female leader could win at the polls so soon after the Arroyo presidency, Senator Legarda quipped: “A Catholic bishop told me just recently his feeling that our country see the issue as not being a matter of gender as it is about our next president’s integrity, his or her sincerity, and commitment to upholding the rule of law.”

This writer is going to  keenly watch how much further the political sands setle in the months leeding up to candidacy filing D-Day on November 30.

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