MANILA (UPDATE) – Team PNoy candidates continue to lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey, with 9 of its 12 candidates having a statistical chance of winning if elections were held last March 16 to 20.
Six of the 9 senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) also have a statistical chance of making it to the top 12.
According to Pulse Asia, the senatorial preferences of Filipino registered voters remained "generally constant" between February and March 2013.
"The only significant movement during this period is the decline in the level of support for the senatorial bid of San Juan City Rep. Ejercito (-5.2 percentage points)," the survey firm said.
Ejercito downplayed the results, saying it is still “volatile.”
"It's very volatile. Hindi naman tuwing survey eh magce-celebrate ka o magmumukmok ka,” he said.
Re-electionist Senator Loren Legarda remained on top, with 55.3% of the 1,800 respondents voting for her.
“Siguro nararamdaman talaga nila ‘yung magagandang epekto ng ating mga batas,” said Legarda.
Another re-electionist senator, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, ranks first to third with 51.5%, the same level as in the last Pulse Asia survey in February.
Social Weather Stations (SWS), with a smaller sample size of 1,200 respondents, had Escudero dropping to third to fourth place from 2nd place in its March 15-17 survey.
In an interview with radio DZMM, Pulse Asia President Ronnie Holmes said Escudero's much-publicized row with the parents of his girlfriend Heart Evangelista may or may not have affected his chances of getting reelected.
Heart's parents, Rey and Cecile Ongpauco, first held a press conference opposing Escudero's relationship with their daughter last March 19, the second to the last day of the survey.
"Maaring naka-apekto. Maaring 'di naka-apekto," he said, adding that Escudero's numbers remain generally the same.
In second or third place in the Pulse Asia survey is re-electionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, with a preference rate of 48.7%.
Two candidates – former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairperson Grace Poe (42.1%) and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III (41.7%) -- will place 4th to 10th if elections were held during the survey period.
Former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar (40.8%) and UNA Deputy Secretary-General Nancy Binay (39.6%) are next and will end up 4th to 11th place.
On the other hand, there are three candidates who can land 4th to 12th place:
• former National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (38.6%);
• San Juan City Representative JV Ejercito Estrada (38.6%); and,
• Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (37.7%).
Senator Gregorio Honasan is next and will end up 6th to 14th place.
Aurora Province Representative Juan Edgardo Angara (34.6%) will land from 8th to 15th place.
Completing the list of probable winners are:
- former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (32.5%, 11th to 16th places);
- Cagayan Province Representative Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. (32.4%, 11th to 16th places), and
- former Senator Richard Gordon (30.7%, 12th to 17th places).
Among the significant events which happened during the survey period were the continued hostilities in Sabah, the death of a UP student, the appointment and subsequent withdrawal of lawyers Macabangkit Lanto and Bernadette Sardillo as Commission on Elections commissioners, the stay order versus the Reproductive Health Law.
Pulse Asia's nationwide survey has a plus/minus 2% margin of error.
Several UNA bets, meanwhile, questioned the results of the survey.
Ernesto Maceda, who is ranked 19th to 22nd, said the survey results do not reflect the response of the crowd in rallies.
"Lahat ng speech ko malakas ang palakpakan, ‘pag ipinakilala ako malakas ang palakpakan, so mahirap maniwala na 14 porsyento lang ang boboto sa akin," he said.
Gordon, on the other hand, said despite the results showing that he has a statistical chance of making it to the top 12, he doesn't believe his survey ranking will improve.
"Dinemanda ko ang SWS at Pulse Asia noong 2010. Umaangat ako unti-unti pero talagang hindi ako pagbibigyang pataasin diyan dahil galit sila sa akin dahil ako lang ang nagsabi na huwag maniwala sa survey," he said.