Justice Secretary Leila de Lima landed in the top 12 list of Filipinos’ senatorial preference for the May 2013 elections, based on the latest national survey of Pulse Asia.
According to the survey released on Wednesday, the fieldwork was conducted from November 10 to 23 using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents aged 18 years and above nationwide.
The polling body noted that the survey dates coincided with the dramatic attempts of former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to leave the country to seek medical treatment and her subsequent arrest on charges of electoral fraud.
De Lima, who placed 10th in the survey, defied the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order on the watch list order she placed against Arroyo and her husband – a move that successfully prevented the former first couple from leaving the country.
A preference for Senate vets
Aside from De Lima, most of the probable winners of the senatorial elections if it were held in early November 2011 are either former or incumbent members of the Senate.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero emerged as the most preferred senatorial candidate with 65.6 % of the total respondents voting for him. Senator Loren Legarda followed in second place with 58.9 % of the votes.
Legarda confirmed in an interview on Monday that she no longer plans to seek a higher position in the future and will just run for reelection in the 2013 midterm elections for her last term.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is in third place with 43.0% of the votes while Senator Alan Peter Cayetano garnered 40.3% to put him in the fourth spot.
Former vice president Noli de Castro whose voter preference is 34.8% rounded up the top five.
‘Juniors’ make it
Completing the 12 most preferred senatorial bets are son of ex-president Joseph Estrada and San Juan City Representative Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito (30.4%), Senator Gregorio Honasan (29.6%), son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Sr. and Cagayan Representative Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. (29.5%), Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III (29.4%), De Lima (29.4%), Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (28.7%) and former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (26.9%).
Other probable candidates for senator who have a statistical chance of making it to the Senate in the May 2013 elections are son of Senator Edgardo Angara and Aurora Province Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (24.3%), former senator Ana “Jamby” Madrigal (24.0%) and former senator Richard Gordon (22.1%).
Public interest is showing
Pulse Asia pointed out that even though there are still 18 months to go before the elections, public interest is already apparent with respondents naming nine to 11 of their preferred senatorial candidates out of a maximum of 12.
About one in two Filipinos or 47% already has a complete slate for the May 2013 elections, Pulse Asia added.
The survey result has a 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.
Amid questions hurled against its early partial proclamation, the poll body on Friday named three more winning Senate candidates even before it completed its official count.