The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on January 18, 2013 announced that it will remove 238,557 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from the official voters list for “failing to notify the commission of their intent to vote on May 13” after they were given a “last chance” to be retained in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (NROAV).More >
By DANNY LLANTO
MANILA – Sen. Grace Poe has dislodged Vice President Jejomar Binay from his perch as the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race.
According to results of the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia, Poe has overtaken Binay in the top spot, getting the nod of 30 percent of the 1,200 respondents polled from May 30 to June 5. The Vice President slid down to No. 2 with 22 percent, which was seven notches lower than the 29 percent he garnered in March.
Binay said he regards the survey results as a “wake-up call.” “That is a wake-up call and it gives me an opportunity to thank those who continue to support me,” he told reporters.
The survey was conducted at the time Binay hogged the headlines after the Office of the Ombudsman announced that a special investigating panel was formed to look into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2, the Court of Appeals issued a freeze order on the bank accounts of the Vice President, his family members and associates and the Senate blue ribbon continued with investigation of allegations of corruption against the Binay patriarch.
Also dominating the news at the time were reports of Poe’s alleged lack of residency that makes her ineligible to seek a higher position in 2016.
In the Pulse Asia survey, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte trails Binay by 7 percentage points, getting 15 percent, with both Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and deposed president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada getting 10 percent each.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago got 6 percent while Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and former Sen. Panfilo Lacson had 2 percent each.
Poe, who is reportedly being wooed to pair with Roxas in the 2016 polls, enjoyed an increase in ratings. She had 14 percent in the March survey.
Roxas, the presumptive standard-bearer of the administration-backed Liberal Party, also enjoyed an increase in ratings. He only notched 4 percent in March.
In a statement, Poe said she was humbled by the latest poll results. “Once again, I humbly thank our countrymen for trusting me. I am one with them in desiring for a country where every Filipino would enjoy an equal opportunity to develop. I value the voice of the people,” her statement in Filipino read.
Poe, however, said she is still undecided about her political plans in 2016.
Binay, who has never lost an election since getting elected as mayor of the then municipality of Makati in 1988, said he is used to being an “underdog.” “Hindi po ako bago sa ganitong sitwasyon. Ilang beses na akong naging underdog sa aking mga laban [I’m not new to this kind of situation. I’ve been an underdog many times in my past fights],” he added.
Navotas City Rep. Tobias Tiangco, interim president of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said the Vice President will continue to work harder regardless.
“Ipagpapatuloy lang ni VP ang pangangalaga sa OFW at Housing Sector. Lalo siyang magsisipag para maibangon sa kahirapan ang ating mahihirap na kababayan,” Tiangco said.
Malacanang remains unaffected by the latest survey results. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said public opinion survey results only present a “snapshot view of citizen preferences on potential candidates.”
“The President continues to consult relevant stakeholders and, as he stated most recently, he is looking at the period after his last SONA (State of the Nation Address) as the appropriate time for making an announcement on his preferred candidate for the 2016 presidential elections,” Coloma added in a statement.
“Meantime, the President and the Cabinet will continue to focus efforts on implementing priority development and reform programs that will ensure the attainment of sustainable and inclusive growth,” he said.
The Pulse Asia survey did not give Lacson’s presidential hopes much lift, but the former Philippine National Police chief, senator and lately presidential assistant for recovery and rehab topped the list of those people want to see in the Senate.
Lacson scored the highest voting preference with 67.4 percent, followed by incumbent senator and former comedian Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who got 63.4 percent.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. placed third with 54.2 percent followed by Sen. Ralph Recto (47.6 percent), former senator Francis Pangilinan (46.9 percent), Sen. Franklin Drilon (45.9 percent), former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (43.9 percent), Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd (41.2 percent), former senator Richard Gordon (39.7 percent), Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (39.2 percent), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (38.7 percent), boxer and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (37.6 percent), Taguig City (Metro Manila) Rep. Lino Cayetano (36.1 percent) and former senator Jamby Madrigal (33.9 percent)