MANILA, Philippines – Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda remain as the most popular senatorial candidates in the 2013 midterm elections, based on a recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia.
The survey, conducted last July 27 to 30 in Metro Manila, showed that the preferences of the voters were split between the Liberal Party (LP)-led coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Among the LP bets who made it to the top 12 in the survey were Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who placed eighth, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara (9th) and Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon (11th). Biazon has yet to decide if he will run for the Senate in next year’s elections.
Nacionalista Party members Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, who are expected to be included in the LP coalition’s slate, also made it to the top 12 of Metro Manila voters at number four and six, respectively.
In the case of UNA, Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr., the son and namesake of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, led the survey at third place, followed by Sen. Gregorio Honasan (5th), San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito (7th) and former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (12th).
Former senator Richard Gordon, who will reportedly join the UNA slate, placed 10th in the survey.
Escudero, who used to be with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), would most likely run as an independent but could still be included in the LP slate as a guest candidate.
Legarda, on the other hand, is still with the NPC, but has engaged in talks with the UNA leadership over possible inclusion in its lineup.
In the survey, 73 percent of the respondents indicated that they would vote for Escudero while Legarda got 60.8 percent.
Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros was at 13th place while Ma. Lourdes Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay was at no. 14.
Rounding up the top 20 were newspaper columnist Ramon Tulfo Jr., former senator Jamby Madrigal, former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, former Senate president Ernesto Maceda, former senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and former Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.
Pulse Asia previously came out with its nationwide survey of senatorial bets dated May 20 to 26, which also showed Escudero and Legarda at first and second place.
That survey still included Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who the LP leadership has stated will stay on in the President’s Cabinet.
Based on that survey, and with Roxas already out of the picture, the biggest gainers in the July survey would be Angara, Biazon and Hontiveros, who all moved up from 12th, 16th and 24th place respectively. –Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star)