Manila, Philippines -- Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño says various mock polls conducted on websites and convenience stores are more credible than pre-election results being released by survey giants.
The Bayan Muna party-list representative who ranked 23rd to 24th place in the latest Pulse Asia survey cast doubt yesterday on the credibility of the survey results, citing "credible information" that these can be manipulated.
"We have huge doubt on these results. We have credible information that candidates can buy information on where the surveys will be done beforehand," Casiño told the Manila Bulletin following a press conference in Quezon City.
"They (candidates) can buy the sample frame. So they know where they will operate three to four days before the actual survey," he said.
Casiño said that with this valuable information, campaigners concentrate posters, public announcement systems and even gimmicks such as medical missions on the subject barangay.
"Kaya umuugong talaga yung pangalan sa barangay (This results to name-recall in that barangay)," he explained, adding that an "election operator" personally tipped him on this modus operandi.
"If they can do that then the credibility of survey firms is questionable," he said.
Casiño, who has spent nine years in the House of Representatives, said he also finds it strange that his ranking in the national surveys haven't budged since he filed for his candidacy last October.
"For us that's strange. After all the campaigning, it's very improbable not to move (in the rankings)."
In comparison, the 44-year-old Senate hopeful said that he has consistently entered the winners' circle or the Magic 12 in the mock senatorial polls that are being carried out.
"Compared to all the mock polls, online surveys, school surveys and even at 7eleven, I've ranked 5th to 7th place. Even in some internal surveys of other politicians, I've ranked. So I don't know why in the national polls of Pulse and SWS (Social Weather Station), I've been peg. I believe there's some kind of manipulation going on," he said.
Casiño explained this by saying that those who participate in the mock polls are "deliberate, thinking voters" as opposed to survey samples who are not given much time to think.
"These are deliberate voters. They are not the ones who were disturbed at home and asked to name candidates on the top of their minds. These were deliberate, not top of mind. They had to think. Now that's different," he said.
He expressed confidence that the "thinking voters" would be his key to victory in the mid-term polls.
"I don't know if that reflects the greater majority. But on May 13, people will come to vote and they will be thinking about who to vote. Based on what I've seen, my name always appears whenever voters were given the chance to think."