Senatorial standings may still change

Manila, Philippines --- Even if Sen. Loren Legarda has been leading the pre-poll senatorial race there is a possibility the standings will change radically once the polling precincts open at 7 a.m. on May 13, 2013.

This was the assessment made by Ed Malay, director of the Issues and Advocacy Center, who said that there are at least two to four candidates who are strategically positioned to reduce the margin that separate them from Legarda (56 percent) and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (53 percent) who are currently leading in the recent Pulsong Pilipino survey conducted by The CENTER on April 13-19, 2013.

He identified these candidates who have a chance to still improve in their current rankings as: Cynthia Villar (49.5 percent), Nancy Binay (49.5 percent), Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito (47 percent), Sen. Koko Pimentel (47 percent) and Sen. Chiz Escudero (47 percent).

Malay said those who are currently ranked from first to eighth positions are more or less assured of winning in the scheduled mid-term national and local elections regardless of their rankings come election time.

Malay also said that while the survey results show a marked decline in the standing of Escudero (47 percent) who was nudged out of his second place position by Cayetano (53 percent), there is still a statistical probability that Escudero can rebound and retake his previous positions but this will depend on how his nationwide network will reformat their campaign.

The CENTER, said Malay, has been conducting regular surveys on the political and economic landscape of the Philippines relative to the scheduled May 13, 2013 elections to provide inputs to the Sangguniang Laikong Pilipinas (Laiko) an organization attached to the Episcopal Commission on the Laity of the CBCP of which he is a member of the Board of Trustees. Malay said for the most part, the poll surveys that he conducts is also intended for the exclusive use of former president Fidel V. Ramos with whom he functions as the latter's PR and Media Adviser.

In the fifth to seventh positions in The CENTER survey are: Rep. JV Ejercito, Sen. Koko Pimentel and Escudero with identical 47 percent. This was a dramatic downspin for Escudero who in the early going of the senatorial race was almost abreast with Legarda. It is not for The CENTER to even hazard a guess, but the negative news reports related to his feud with the family of his current girlfriend Heart Evangelista might have taken its toll on his bid for a respectable showing that would put him in line for the next national elections in 2016.

Ranked eighth is Sen. Antonio Trillanes with 44.7 percent while Sen. Gringo Honasan and Grace Poe will have to satisfy themselves with a share of the ninth and 10th spot with a similar 43 percent rating. Some four shades away is Bam Aquino in 11th place with 39 percent. Former Sen. Migz Zubiri and Rep. Sonny Angara are locked in 12th to 13th place with 37 percent apiece.

Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. is in 14th spot with 35 percent, two points ahead of the pair of former senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Richard Gordon with 33 percent. Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros is in 17th place with 30 percent while Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, one of the six candidates endorsed by the WHITE VOTE MOVEMENT, is the preferred choice of 27 percent of the survey respondents. Of the lower-ranked candidates, Ms. Magsaysay will probably benefit most from the endorsement of the Church-based movement as she is now only 10 percentage points away from Angara and Zubiri.

Former Sen. Jamby Madrigal has 24 percent for 19th place and former sen. Ernie Maceda has 19 percent, which is good for 20th place. Bro. Eddie Villanueva is in 21st place with 16 percent, former Tarlac Gov. Tingting Cojuangco is ranked 22nd with 15 percent, and Mayor Edward Hagedorn is in 23rd place with 13 percent.

By statistical probability, those in the first eight slots have a good chance of either getting reelected and or elected as the case may be based on the consistency in the responses generated from the respondents during the survey period.

Six of the top eight candidates are running for reelection.

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