Political dynasties rule Philippine senatorial race polls

News Desk in Manila/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Political dynasties loom large in the results of a pre-election survey on the senatorial race.

JV Ejercito, Jack Enrile and Nancy Binay-offspring of the three leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)-remained in the winning circle of the senatorial race if elections were held between January 17 and Jan. 19, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found.

Ejercito, a son of ousted President Joseph Estrada, was No. 4 with 53 per cent of Filipino adults saying they would vote for him, according to the SWS January 2013 Pre-Election Survey, first published in BusinessWorld.

Jack Enrile, the only son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, was ranked eighth and ninth, getting 46 per cent, while Nancy Binay, eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay was No. 12, with 43 per cent.

Grace Poe-Llamanzares, former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chief, broke into the list of probable winners for the first time in three SWS pre-election surveys, clinching the 10th to 11th place with 45 per cent.

It was a huge leap from 13 per cent in the previous survey, where Poe, an independent, placed 20th.

She is on the slate of the administration's Team Pinoy, the new name of the alliance of the Liberal Party (LP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) and other parties.

The rest of those in the Magic 12 were six reelectionist senators plus former Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri and former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar, wife of outgoing Sen. Manny Villar.

1,200 respondents

The noncommissioned survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents nationwide, who were made to choose from a list of 33 candidates.

The survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

Edged out from the winning list was former Sen. Richard Gordon (UNA, 36 per cent), who took the 14th place-down from 12th place in the previous survey, where he garnered 37 per cent.

Twelve candidates had a statistical chance of making it to the winning circle, with four candidates from UNA, two candidates each from the NP and the NPC, and one candidate each from Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and LP-NP.

Sen. Loren Legarda of the NPC still led the senatorial race.

The survey found 65 per cent of adults said they would vote for Legarda, 3 percentage points down from 68 per cent in the December survey, which she also topped.

Sen. Francis Escudero, an independent and also of Team Pinoy, retained his second place spot with 62 per cent, up from 61 per cent in the previous round of survey.

Occupying the third spot was Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (NP, 60 per cent).

Sharing the fifth to sixth place were Sen. Gringo Honasan (UNA, 48 per cent) and Sen. Koko Pimentel (PDP-Laban and Team Pinoy, 48 per cent).

In seventh place was Zubiri (UNA, 47 per cent), followed by Villar (NP) who was tied with Enrile Jr. (NPC) at eighth to ninth places with 46 per cent.

Sharing the 10th to 11th place with Poe was Sen. Antonio Trillanes (LP-NP), who also garnered 45 per cent, followed by Binay.

Aside from Gordon, those who barely made it to the list were Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara (LDP, 39 per cent), Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV (LP, 34 per cent), former Sen. Ramon Magsasay Jr. (LP, 33 per cent) and former Sen. Jamby Madrigal (LP, 28 per cent). Angara is the son of outgoing Sen. Edgardo Angara.


Among those who posted significant gains compared with the previous survey were Zubiri (formerly in ninth to 10th place with 41 per cent), Honasan (formerly in eighth place with 43 per cent) and Ejercito (formerly in fifth place with 49 per cent).

Those who slipped in the rankings included Villar (formerly in fourth place with 51 per cent), Enrile (formerly in sixth to seventh place with 46 per cent) and Binay (formerly in ninth to 10th place with 41 per cent).

Reports from Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research and Gil C. Cabacungan