Sur­vey shows lead­ing names in Se­nate polls

Tempo - - News -

THE lat­est Pulse Asia sur­vey shows the same fa­mil­iar names at the top of the list – re­elec­tion­ist Se­na­tors Grace Poe (75.6% ), Cyn­thia Vil­lar (66.6%), and Sonny An­gara (58.5%); fol­lowed by for­mer Se­na­tors Pia Cayetano (55.4%) and Mark Lapid (49.8%); re­elec­tion­ists Nancy Bi­nay (46.7%) and Aquilino Pi­mentel III (45.5%); and for­mer se­na­tor Serge Os­mena (38.8%).

Round­ing up the top 16 are for­mer se­na­tor Ra­mon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (37.6%), Ilo­cos Norte Gov. Imee Mar­cos (36.7%), for­mer se­na­tor Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada (36.3%), for­mer PNP chief Ron­ald de la Rosa (35.7%), for­mer In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Manuel Roxas II (35.0%), re­elec­tion­ists JV Ejercito Estrada (33.6%) and Paolo “Bam” Aquino (32.6%), and for­mer Duterte aide Lawrence “Bong” Go (29.7).

The midterm elec­tions on May 13, 2019, will choose 12 se­na­tors, half of the mem­ber­ship of the Se­nate. The win­ners are likely to come from among these top 16 in the sur­vey, but elec­tion cases may elim­i­nate some of them and events in the next three months may af­fect the stand­ings, so that those below these top 16 in the sur­vey re­main hope­ful.

It is ev­i­dent that po­lit­i­cal par­ties are not yet play­ing any sig­nif­i­cant role in our elec­tions. Se­na­tor Poe first won as an in­de­pen­dent in 2013 and was in both ad­min­is­tra­tion and op­po­si­tion tick­ets in 2016. Vil­lar is with the Na­cional­ista Party and An­gara with the La­ban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, both mi­nor­ity par­ties. To­day’s ma­jor­ity party, the PDP-La­ban, has only one can­di­date in the top 8 of the lat­est SWS sur­vey – Pi­mentel; and an­other two in the top 16 – Dela Rosa and Go. The pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ma­jor­ity Lib­eral Party has only Roxas.

It is the in­di­vid­ual ap­peals and records of the can­di­dates that are play­ing a ma­jor role in these elec­tions. Se­na­tor Poe started as the daugh­ter of the greatly pop­u­lar movie star Fer­nando Poe Jr. and but­tressed this with her cham­pi­onship of con­cerns close to the hearts of or­di­nary folk, such as health and en­vi­ron­ment, ed­u­ca­tion for indige­nous peo­ple, and the dif­fi­cul­ties of com­mut­ing in Metro Manila.

Aside from the top 16 in the sur­vey, there are 54 other de­clared se­na­to­rial can­di­dates and two of them are quite well-known – Fran­cis To­lentino and Juan Ponce En­rile. To­lentino has Pres­i­dent Duterte’s per­sonal sup­port while En­rile has a rich back­ground as part of the na­tion’s po­lit­i­cal his­tory.

We will be fol­low­ing closely the com­ing 12-week cam­paign in the se­na­to­rial and party-list con­gres­sional elec­tions start­ing Fe­bru­ary 12. The six-week cam­paign for lo­cal po­si­tions will be­gin March 30 will draw in­tense lo­cal com­mu­nity in­ter­est, but the na­tional cam­paign for se­na­tors will have greater na­tional sig­nif­i­cance, for it will choose lead­ers, whose de­ci­sions will im­me­di­ately af­fect the na­tional in­ter­est.

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