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Survey Says… Villar-Estrada Face-Off Emerging, De Castro And Chiz In Holding Pattern (And Mar Sputtering?)

August 26, 2009

pulse top 5

The Filipino everyman is putting on his ‘pundit-cum-statistics analyst hat’ today poring through the banner news reports on the latest Pulse Asia survey that says

“…if the May 2010 elections were held now, one in four Filipinos (25%) would elect Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as the country’s next president. In second place are former President Joseph Estrada (19%) and Vice-President Noli L. de Castro (16%). Meanwhile, Senators Francis G. Escudero and Manuel A. Roxas II also score double-digit presidential voter preferences (12% and 11%, respectively).”

Quite informatively, Pulse Asia reminds us of the socio-political backdrop of the survey:

Among the major developments immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey were the prolonged hospitalization due to terminal illness and subsequent death of President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino; the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her latest visit to the United States (US); the unexplained growth in the President’s wealth since assuming the presidency in 2001; the increasing number of probable presidential candidates for the May 2010 elections; the controversies surrounding the selection of two new members of the Supreme Court and this year’s National Artist awardees; and the loss of lives and destruction of infrastructure caused by two powerful typhoons. On the economic front, inflation in July fell to a twenty-two year low.

The survey goes on to narrate what thoughts motivate Filipinos about which camndidate they favour:

About one in four Filipinos (25%) is voting for his/her preferred presidential bet because of the candidate’s many accomplishments. On the other hand, one in five (20%) Filipinos rationalized their choice of candidate based on the preferred bet’s pro-poor orientation. More than one in ten (12%) cited the candidate’s being helpful to others, especially OFWs (8%), as the reason for supporting a candidate’s presidential bid.   Other reasons cited in supporting a candidate’s bid is his/her not being corrupt (6%),  proven capability in governance (4%),  goodness (4%), being principled (3% ), and intelligence (3%).

So now I’m asking myself, given that I wasn’t one of those surveyed, if I share the findings.

Yes, and no.

That’s Because surveys such are these are dipsticks prone to misuse in terms of ‘massaging’ the message: of candidates looking to improve their ratings shaping their message to what voters want to hear, not based on what the wannabees’ genuine vision and platforms of government are in a post-Arroyo government

But  I’m not saying we should dismiss the data, especially in relation to what it may be telling us.

My humble reading is this:

1.    Sen. Jamby Madreigal has become the best campaigner for Sen. Villar instead of being his nemesis over the C-5 road mess;.

Villar’s no-talk-no-mistake strategy is working, with the masses more appreciative of such gestures as giving away houses during a noontime TV show, and having a notoriously crass but hugely popular TV host being his vote-getter.

2.    Former President Erap Estrada appears to have given Filipinos amnesia about his conviction on plunder charges, never mind that he pocketed illegal gambling bribes

3.    Vice President Noli De Castro’s continuing support for Arroyo is making people rethink their image of him as a crusading journalist fit for high high office;

4.    Support for Sen. Chiz Escudero is in a holding pattern given the nasty talks about him courting the administration’s support and his political god-father’s known good relations with Malacanang;

5.    Sen. Mar Roxas’s initial surge as a desired wannabee appears to have plateaued with even voters in Metro Manilla, and his natural constituency in the Visayas not listing him as their number 1 pick.

Going into the next quarter survey, Roxas’s ill-conceived ‘de-padyak’ and ‘re-resbak tayo’ messaging could be drowned out by a civil society-initiated signature gathering campaign aimed at convincing Sen. Noynoy Aquino to run for President.

Villar, while enjoying a survey lead that could translate into a winning plurality, could be peaking early.

Estrada’s sustained gain mat solidify the backroom planning by parties unseen to question his bid’s legal standin (if and he does file).

For me. in the final analysis Filipino voters have two simple parameters when they listen, and repose belief in any candidate’s promises absent a full understanding of his vision and platform.

Are the wannabee’s promises plausible?

If it’s plausible, IS IT TANGIBLE?

Then the voter casts his ballot.


The rising temperature of the political landscape is being felt even on ouTube with a new anti-Villar video: a parody of his TV ad directed at the youth vote:

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