President Aquino endorses the presidential bid of Mar Roxas at a gathering of friends in the Club Filipino in San Juan. Fernando G. Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - Administration standard bearer Mar Roxas' 8-point survey bump in the ABS-CBN commissioned Pulse Asia survey from August 27 to September 3 was partly the effect of President Benigno Aquino's endorsement.
Roxas, who was endorsed by Aquino last July 31, was statistically tied with Vice President Jejomar Binay in the Pulse Asia survey.
(READ: Pulse Asia poll: Poe still on top)
Senator Grace Poe was the topnotcher, leading in NCR, Luzon and all social classes.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took Mindanao while Roxas took the Visayas.
In a text message to ABS-CBN, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda said: "PNoy's endorsement of Sec. Mar Roxas helps. But some of the increase in voter preference for Sec. Roxas may probably be attributed to Mar himself. Voter preference for him increased significantly in the Visayas."
When asked if Roxas took away support from Poe and Binay, Tabunda said, "We cannot categorically say that the increase in voter [preference] for Sec. Roxas came from Sen. Poe and VP Binay because other candidates in the list shed 9 points combined, enough to cover Sec. Roxas' 8-point increase."
Binay and Roxas declared their plan to run for President in July. Poe declared her plan to run for President mid-September, after the survey. Candidates for the 2016 elections have one week next month to file before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The ABS-CBN commissioned Pulse Asia survey showed that of 1,200 respondents nationwide, 27% picked Poe for President, down 3 points from her June number. The survey happened amid flak Poe drew for allegedly backing the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).
Twenty-one percent picked Binay who also issued supportive statements for INC—down 1%. Eighteen percent picked Roxas, an improvement from his 10% in a June poll. Duterte was unchanged at 15%.
The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.
For the vice presidential race, Poe was also on top but is considered to be tied with her running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, 26% to 25%. Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Bongbong Marcos followed but with single-digit scores. Marcos is rumored to be Binay's running mate.
Roxas' preferred running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, got 2% support.
Poe thanked her supporters for her numbers but emphasized that surveys are but guides. "My sincerest gratitude to the people for their unwavering trust and support. I am honored and humbled by the results of the latest Pulse Asia survey. Surveys help us check if we're on the right track, but we derive our inspiration from the needs and aspirations of our countrymen, with or without surveys."
Roxas also thanked supporters for his improving numbers.
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma noted that Roxas posted the most significant increase, indicating increasing support for him as the standard bearer of Daang Matuwid.
"The significant improvement in Sec. Roxas' ratings follow the same upward trend in the President's satisfaction ratings which are higher than what his predecessors attained in the late stage of the term. It is reasonable to infer that our Bosses believe in the President's advocacy for continuity of Daang Matuwid and the strengthening of good governance beyond the end of his term," Coloma said.
Binay's camp, meanwhile, said the Vice President remains grateful and humbled by the people's continued trust and support. "Rest assured that he will continue to work hard. The people deserve genuine change in how their government works and in their lives and the Vice President is committed to this goal," Atty. Rico Quicho, spokesperson for political concerns, said.
For his part, veteran public relations practitioner Jones Campos said the candidates' standings are affected by the infomercials they have been running.
"The surveys are one manifestation of this. Sabi nga nila, premature campaigning. Alam naman natin unless and until you apply for candidacy, di ka pa kandidato. Virtual na yun, 'I'm running for President, vote for me.' Although wala pang 'Vote for me, but look for me for you to scrutinize,'" Campos said.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News at the sidelines of the PR Congress, Campos added that the ongoing advertisements of the three declared aspirants have given them a head start in their campaigns.
"Obviously, the three presidential guys are doing it right. They're already informing the public that here we are. When the campaign period comes, I would like to think doon na maglalabas ng platform nila, achievements nila."
When asked to pick whose commercials are most effective, Campos said: "I'm impressed by the Grace Poe ad, but of course yung kay Mar Roxas naman kasi it's the endorsement that's also very strong."
As for Binay's advertisements where he portrays himself as a victim of political persecution, Campos said: "Alam mo consequence yun ng what's happening in the Senate... It has some effectiveness."
Poe's ad connects her to her late father, Fernando Poe Jr. Roxas' ad capitalized on the endorsement of President Aquino.