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2004 ELECTIONS
FPJ-Lacson, Roco-Legarda
tandems lead in survey

Posted: 11:19 PM (Manila Time) | Dec. 05, 2002
By Juliet Labog-Javellana and Dona Pazzibugan
Inquirer News Service

15 percent of the vote

A tandem between actor Fernando Poe, Jr. and Sen. Panfilo Lacson tied with a tandem comprising former education secretary Raul Roco and Sen. Loren Legarda as the most popular possible presidential and vice presidential teams, an independent polling firm said Thursday.

Each team would have obtained 15 percent of the votes had elections been conducted last month, said Pulse Asia Inc. which based its findings on a nationwide survey of 2,400 respondents on Nov. 6-22.

A tandem between Legarda and former broadcaster Noli de Castro came in third with 12 percent of the votes. A possible team-up between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Roco would have gotten only 9 percent of the votes.

Without being paired with anyone, Roco would win the presidential election, according to Pulse Asia. Roco, who resigned as education secretary in October, got 19 percent of the votes.

He is followed closely by Poe (FPJ), an action star, with 17 percent and and De Castro, a broadcaster, with 16 percent.

Poe's votes could theoretically match those obtained by Roco as the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

Ms Macapagal came fourth with 12 percent, followed by Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. with 7 percent.

Pulse Asia defended the release of survey results on the possible presidential candidates, saying that Filipinos were already swept by election fever more than a year before the 2004 presidential election. It said almost everyone had a preference for the top two officials of the land.

For obtaining a big percentage of the votes, Roco, Poe and De Castro were classified by Pulse Asia as belonging to the "first group."

The second group is composed of Davide (7 percent), Sen. Edgardo Angara (5 percent), Legarda (4 percent) and Lacson (3 percent).

The last group is composed of Senate President Franklin Drilon and Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Bayani Fernando, both with 3 percent; Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., 2 percent; and Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., one percent.

Five percent had no preference, were undecided, or refused to choose a possible candidate.

Roco popular in Manila

Roco is most popular in Metro Manila, with 31 percent of the votes, while Poe has 18 percent. De Castro is tops in Mindanao with 26 percent, followed by Poe with 17 percent. The rest of Luzon also went for Roco (21 percent) and Poe (20 percent) but the Visayas is for Davide (18 percent) and Mindanao is for De Castro (26 percent).

The ABC socioeconomic class rooted for Roco, who got 27 percent of its votes. He was followed by Poe and Ms Macapagal with 12 percent each. Class D favored Roco with 19 percent followed by De Castro who got 17 percent while the poorest Class E went for Poe, 24 percent, followed by Roco with 18 percent.

For vice president, Pulse Asia said eight personalities were in a tight race with Legarda (15 percent) and Roco (14 percent) in the lead.

The others are Sen. Juan Flavier, Drilon and Poe who all got 9 percent; Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and Angara with 8 percent each; Lacson and Sen. Sergio Osmena III with 6 percent each; Pimentel, 5 percent; Guingona, 3 percent and Fernando, who was swept to national prominence with his campaign against sidewalk vendors, 2 percent.

Pulse Asia cautioned the presidential and vice presidential wannabes that surveys conducted this early must be considered as "extremely exploratory and hardly controlling."

"It is unlikely that the presidential or vice presidential contest will actually have so many people in formal competition by April or May 2004," Pulse Asia research director Felipe Miranda said in a statement.

He said the public's level of electoral preferences culled from the survey's long list of possible candidates showed that no candidate gained even a 20-percent endorsement.

This, he said, should caution "those prone to unnecessarily exalt or needlessly despair against indulging themselves on account of the survey's results."

President's rating plunges

Ms Macapagal's poor showing in the survey coincided with her plunging approval rating, which dropped from 54 percent in July to 46 percent last month.

Pulse Asia reported that the President's performance rating plunged across the board, in all geographic areas and socioeconomic classes, with decreases of between 5 to 17 percentage points.

Pulse Asia said the President's performance rating "in this very difficult times erodes further with less than a majority of the public now approving" of her.

People's trust in the President diminished while distrust for her built up between July and November this year, Pulse Asia added. Her trust rating dropped from 43 percent to 38 percent.

Pulse Asia said people from Metro Manila and those from the best-off Class ABC were the ones who least approved of the President. Those from the Visayas and Mindanao continued to approve of her but with rather small majorities.

Presidential spokesperson Rigoberto Tiglao said the President was taking the Pulse Asia survey results "seriously'' as a "barometer of the people's perceptions on the impact of her programs.''

"The conclusion here is that even though the programs are in place and are being implemented, parang hindi pa rin nararamdaman ng masa (the masses do not seem to feel its effects),'' he said.

"Secondly, there is a need to communicate her decisions as what happened in her Nov. 30 speech'' in which the President announced the relief of two Cabinet officials and addressed major policy issues.

Tiglao said an "internal survey'' showed a "major bounce back'' in the President's trust ratings after that speech.

"The problem is that the Pulse Asia surveys are on a quarterly basis. Medyo malas lang (It's just our tough luck) if the survey was done on a particular week when criticisms against the President were building up,'' he said.

Tiglao said the Pulse Asia survey captured the impact of decisions the President made in the previous three months.

He said the resignations of Guingona and Roco as foreign and education secretaries, respectively, were still fresh in the public's minds.

"One way or another this impacts on the perception of the presidency,'' said Tiglao. Guingona resigned in July.

Tiglao said the President would continue to focus on her work to uplift the economy and ensure peace and order.

"These are things that can't be changed overnight. The President, during the past several months, has been focusing on actual concrete programs to address these problems,'' he said.

Tiglao dismissed questions about the effect of the survey results on the President's possible reelection bid.

"It's really too early to talk about elections. We really would like to buckle down to work,'' he said.
 

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KAIBA News & Features, P.O. Box 6126, Naga City 4400.  email: alcalara@edsamail.com.ph  Tel No. 0917 8122107 Copyright 1999  KAIBA News & Features. All rights reserved.  Revised: December 14, 2002