MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Senator Grace Poe is now the leading contender in the presidential race, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey, overtaking consistent front-runner Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The May 30 to June 5 survey revealed that 30 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Poe if elections were held at the time of the survey.
This is 16 percentage points higher than the 14 percent she got in March.
Binay, who consistently dominated the previous surveys, came in at second place with 22 percent of the respondents saying they would vote for him if elections were held at the time of the survey.
The previous March survey of Pulse Asia showed Vice President Binay topping the list with 29 percent, followed by Poe with 14 percent.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte came in at third with 15 percent.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada were tied for the fourth spot with 10 percent.
The other potential candidates include Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago (6%), Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (2%) and former Senator Panfilo Lacson (2%).
Filipinos express virtually no support for the probable presidential bids of former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairperson Camilo Sabio and OFW Party-List Representative Roy Señeres, Pulse Asia said.
Senator Poe dominated the survey across all geographic areas, except for Mindanao, where Davao City Mayor Rodrigo got the majority support (37 percent).
The neophyte senator got 32 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR), 36 percent in Balance Luzon, 30 percent in the Visayas, and 15 percent in Mindanao.
Vice President Binay, meanwhile, got 22 percent both in NCR and Balance Luzon, 26 percent in Visayas, and 18 percent in Mindanao.
In terms of socio-economic class, Poe got the highest ratings among the ABC and D classes (both 31 percent). She got a rating of 25 percent among the class E.
Binay remains the most popular among the class E, getting 26 percent.
The latest survey result may be considered a heavy blow to the camp of the vice-president, who for the past year has been trying to dodge corruption allegations.
Pulse Asia said major political developments prior to the latest presidential preference survey include the Office of the Ombudsman's indictment of Binay and his allies for plunder in connection with the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II, and the Court of Appeals' granting of a request by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the bank accounts of Binay, his relatives, and associates.
Another controversial topic which emerged prior to the second quarter survey was Poe's residency and citizenship.
Also taking place before this survey was the exchange of words between Binay and Poe, with the former saying the country's next leader should have experience and the latter replying that honesty is a more important quality.
The drop in Binay's numbers comes about two weeks before Binay launches on July 1 his political party, the United Nationalist Alliance.
POE ALSO TOPS VP SURVEY
Poe is also the leading contender in the vice-presidential race, with 41 percent of respondents saying they would vote for her.
Coming in at distant second is Poe's close friend, fellow Senator Francis ''Chiz'' Escudero, who got 15 percent.
Poe and Escudero were followed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (12 percent), Mayor Duterte (9 percent), and Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (9 percent), Former Senator Panfilo Lacson (6 percent), Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (5 percent), and Rep. Leni Robredo (1 percent).
Among the survey topnotchers, only Binay has so far declared his intention to run for president. Poe, Roxas, and Escudero have remained coy about their 2016 plans.
President Benigno Aquino III, who belongs to the Liberal Party, continues to talk with Poe and other possible potential candidates in the 2016 race.
Some LP stalwarts want Roxas to carry the party's banner, with Poe as his running-mate. Some, however, taking into consideration Roxas and Poe's performance in the surveys, want Interior secretary to give way to the neophyte senator in the presidential race.
BINAY: THAT'S A WAKE-UP CALL
Speaking to reporters in Angono, Rizal, the vice-president admitted that the latest Pulse Asia survey is a wake-up call for him.
"Para sa akin ay wake-up call iyan," he said.
However, the vice-president remains unfazed, saying surveys do not always guarantee victory. He cited his case, where he beat Roxas in the 2010 vice-presidential race despite the latter consistently topping the surveys.
In a separate statement, Binay thanked those who continue to support him.
"Nagpapasalamat ako sa patuloy na suporta ng ating mga kababayan. Pabagu-bago man ang resulta ng survey, hindi magbabago ang aking determinasyon na lumaban para mabigyan ng ginhawa ang ating mga kababayan," he said.
"Hindi po ako bago sa ganitong sitwasyon. Ilang beses na akong naging underdog sa aking mga laban. At mas determinado ako na ipagpatuloy ang aking laban para sa taumbayan. Lalo ko pa pong pag-iibayuhin ang pagdulog ng direkta sa ating mga kababayan para malaman ko ang tunay nilang damdamin."
Binay again reiterated in his statement the importance of electing an experienced candidate.
Poe, meanwhile, thanked the public for trusting her.
"Muli, ako ay mapagpakumbabang nagpapasalamat sa tiwalang ipinagkakaloob ng ating mga kababayan. Kasama po nila akong naghahangad ng isang bansang makapamumuhay ang bawat Pilipino nang may patas na oportunidad at pagkakataong umunlad. Ang tinig ng ating mga kababayan ay mahalaga sa akin," Poe said.