Risa rises, TG falls in ABS-CBN survey

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros is enjoying her best numbers yet in the latest ABS-CBN survey on the 2016 elections done by Pulse Asia even as two re-electionists, Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III, suffer major declines.

Guingona, in particular, has fallen out of the winning circle.

The latest survey, conducted March 8 - 13, 2016, used face-to- face interviews of about 4,000 respondents nationwide.

The survey showed Guingona getting 29.7 percent voter support, enough for 14th place on the list. This, despite the survey being done after news of the $81-million cybercrime heist came out.

The Guingona-led Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is currently investigating the scandal, which is being touted as one of the biggest cybercrime heists in history.

READ: For bank heist hackers, PH was a handy black hole

A LACK OF ADS?

According to Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda, the latest survey shows that Guingona is "no longer in the list of candidates with a statistical chance of making it to the Senate."

"Nakikita rin natin na mataas ang ranking ni former Rep. Risa Hontiveros at medyo nag-slide si Sen. Recto. Nasa middle na siya ng list with a chance of making it," she said.

Tabunda said Guingona's standing already has the benefit of his incumbency. She noted Guingona also doesn't have as many advertisements.

''Hindi naman sa [dahilan] the incumbency did not work. Nakakatulong pa iyun sa lagay na yan kasi balota ito. Malaking bagay na naalala ang pangalan mo,'' she said.

''Iyun nga lang, wala siyang ads masyado. Kung ihahambing mo sa ibang kumakandidato na medyo nag-spend sa ads kasi di sila former senators or incumbent senator at kailangan makilala sa buong bansa. Medyo di ganun si TG Guingona. At the same time, yung pangalan niya, hindi kasing tunog ng mga matagal naging senador kasi eto pa ang pangalawang beses niya tumakbo. Hindi tulad ng ibang mga kasama niya nakailang terms."

Tabunda noted those at the tail-end of the Magic 12 are the big campaign advertisers. In the latest survey, Joel "Tesdaman" Villanueva is currently ranked 12-13, Guingona is ranked 14, and Martin Romualdez is ranked 15-18.

"May mga malalaking gumagasta dito close to 12-13, 14, kasi nga kailangan sila makilala. They're coming from Congress [Lower House], dating Cabinet member, hindi ganun katunog ang pangalan. They're running against re-electionists so they have to have name recall," she said.

RECTO TOO BUSY?

Tabunda, meantime, said Recto may be too busy with Batangas local politics. Recto got 34.2 percent voter support in the last survey, enough for ranks 6-11 in the survey.

Recto lost in the 2007 elections because he was also saddled with local Batangas politics in that election, where his wife Vilma Santos ran for governor.

Tabunda said she does not know if Recto will continue to maintain the frequency of his ads since the Commission on Elections is already monitoring the ads.

"Baka nagbabantayan na sila ng minutes...Kasi nga kung gumasta ng medyo malaki ng maaga, nagbibilang na ang Comelec. Baka tinitipid mo na yung minutes para meron ka sa dulo," she said.

''Maaaring si Senator Recto nabi-busy muli sa local politics sa Batangas kasi very active siya sa kanyang probinsiya. Yes, in 2007 natalo siya dahil sa kumbinasyon [ng dahilan], dahil nasa Team Unity siya ni dating Pangulong Arroyo na 'di popular at pangalawa, nagamit ang isyu ng [Value-Added] tax at maari rin kasi, parang naging busy sa local election."

RISA RISES

Hontiveros, a former party-list representative of Akbayan, firmed up her previous 6-11 rank to 5-11. Hontiveros is running for the Senate for the 3rd time in 2016, after losing twice in 2010 and 2013.

Tabunda said the former congresswoman's two previous failed attempts at the Senate may have taught her a lot in how to plan her campaign.

"Eto yung pinakamagandang performance ni Risa Hontiveros so far. Mabigat yan kasi nakasunod siya sa incumbent reelectionists at former senators. Mabigat yan given na balota ito, name recall talaga ng masa. Siguro nakatulong yung ilang beses siyang tumakbo," she said.

"Hindi siya exactly neophyte candidate. Maaari ring nakakatulong ang messaging niya. Messaging has to do with health. Baka may female vote pa siya, maganda yung performance."

Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao continues to place at the bottom half of the possible winning circle at rank 6-12 , a slight decline from his previous rank 8-11. Pacquiao recently drew flak for his anti-LGBT comment.

Tabunda said Pacquiao's standing may be influenced by the outcome of his boxing match next month.

"Malamang makakatulong na maalala siya na hindi kailangan gumasta sa ads ngayon. Depende sa resulta ng boxing match. Meron talaga siguro na gusto siya iboto kahit ano pang kalabasan ng boxing match kasi he has brought pride to Filipinos, to the country,'' she said.

WINNERS' CIRCLE

In the latest survey, Senator Vicente Sotto III (51.4%) and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon (49.4%) have a statistical ranking of 1st-2nd places to top the list of senatorial bets.

The next three spots are occupied by former members of the Senate: former Senator Francis Pangilinan (45.7%, 3rd-4th places); former Senator Panfilo Lacson (44.9%, 3rd-4th places); and former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (37.4%, 5th-7th places).

Senator Sergio Osmeña III and former Akbayan Party-List Representative Risa Hontiveros find themselves sharing 5th-11th places with voter preferences of 35.3% and 34.9%, respectively.

In 6th-11th places are Senator Ralph Recto (34.2%) and former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. de Lima (33.3%).

The other probable winners are former Senator Richard Gordon (32.7%, 6th-12th places), Sarangani Representative Emmanuel Pacquiao (32.6%, 6th-12th places), Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin T. Gatchalian (29.8%, 10th-13th places), and former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Emmanuel Villanueva (29.7%, 12th-13th places).

Among the 50 candidates vying for the 12 seats in the Senate, 13 have a statistical chance of making it to the winners' circle. Of the probable winners, five come from the Liberal Party (LP), four are independent candidates, two are running under the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and the Akbayan Party-List group have one candidate each.

Only 6.8% of registered voters are not voting for any of these 50 senatorial candidates running in the May 2016 elections.

The immediately preceding survey from March 1 - 6, 2016, which had a smaller respondent sample of 2,600, showed that among the 50 senatorial candidates running in May 2016, 14 had a statistical chance of winning if the conduct of the May 2016 elections coincided with this survey.

Of the probable winners, practically all of whom are incumbent or former members of Congress, six are running under the Liberal Party (LP), four are independent candidates, two belong to the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), and one each comes from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and the Akbayan Party List Group. Almost one in 10 registered voters does not support any senatorial candidate.

In the March 1-6 poll, Pangilinan enjoyed solo first place as he registers an overall voter preference of 53.1%.

The other probable winners in the May 2016 senatorial elections are: Senator Vicente Sotto III (48.9%, 2nd to 4th places); Senate President Franklin M. Drilon (45.5% 2nd to 5th places); former Senator Panfilo Lacson (45.1%, 2nd to 5th places); Senator Ralph Recto (42.5%, 3rd to 5th places); former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (36.5%, 6th to 9th places); Senator Sergio Osmeña III (36.4%, 6th to 9th places); former Senator Richard Gordon (34.8%, 6th to 11th places); former Akbayan Party List Representative Risa Hontiveros (33.3%, 6th to 11th places); Sarangani Representative Emmanuel Pacquiao (32.7%, 8th to 11th places); former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. de Lima (32.1%, 8th to 11th places); former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva (28.0%, 12th to 14th places); Senator Teofisto Guingona III (26.3%, 12th to 14th places); and Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin T. Gatchalian (25.6%, 12th to 14th places).

Comparing the latest survey with the immediately preceding survey, Recto and Guingona both suffered a drop in their numbers.

Recto fell to to rank 6-11 from Rank 3-5. Guingona, on the other hand, fell to rank 14 from rank 12-14 in the preceding survey, just a little outside the winning circle.

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