MANILA - Senator Manuel 'Mar' Roxas II was the top choice of respondents in a vice-presidential survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) last September 18 to 21.
Roxas was chosen by 38% of 1,800 respondents.
The others in the top five were: Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero, 21%; Sen. Loren Legarda, 17%; Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, 6%; and, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, 6%.
Since Legarda is tipped to be the running mate of Escudero in the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), Legarda's ratings could increase significantly, assuming respondents who are for Escudero will shift their preferences to Legarda.
Binay will be the running mate of former President Joseph Estrada. Their tandem is set to be announced on October 21 in Tondo, Manila.
Sen. Estrada, on the other hand, will run for re-election in 2010. Assuming respondents for Jinggoy shift their preferences to Binay, then Binay's rating is expected to increase, too.
The vice-presidential survey was a rider or an additional question that was added to the same SWS survey disclosed on Wednesday which showed that 60% of Filipinos believe Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III would be the best leader to succeed President Arroyo when she steps down in 2010.
In this non-commissioned question, respondents were allowed to give up to 3 names, unlike the rider question where they were asked to choose one from among several names. (Read: Noynoy, Villar best leaders to succeed Arroyo: SWS)
A private party paid for this "choose one only" rider question in the September 18 to 21 SWS survey.
Noynoy also ahead in single choice survey
Another rider question in the September 18 to 21 SWS survey asked respondents to choose which leader they prefer for president.
But unlike the multiple answers question in the non-commissioned SWS survey, respondents were asked to choose only one.
The top four were: Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino, 51%; Senator Manny Villar, 20%; former Pres. Joseph Estrada, 11%; and, Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero, 8%.
Respondents were also asked which tandem they prefer. This was also another rider question, and the top four were:
Villar-Noli De Castro: 19%
In next year's elections, however, Filipino voters will be choosing a presidential candidate and a vice-presidential candidate separately, not as a tandem.
The SWS survey, conducted from September 18-21, 2009, with a sample size of 1,800 adults, has an error margin of ±2.3%.It used face-to-face interviews.
This SWS survey was conducted before tropical storms Ondoy and Pepeng.
Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said on Wednesday that although the administration candidate Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro was still lagging behind in the SWS survey, it showed that he gained ground, from 0.8% in June 2009 to 4% in September 18-21, 2009.
Remonde said he expects Teodoro's popularity to rise even further after the defense chief headed relief operations in the aftermath of Ondoy and Pepeng.
He said Teodoro's actions during the relief operations underscored the candidate's decency since he did not capitalize on the calamity.
"No one can say that he took advantage of his position. He just did his job," he said.
Candidate to beat
Political analyst Ramon Casiple, meanwhile, said on Wednesday the survey only confirmed that Aquino is the candidate to beat in the 2010 election.
He said public support for Aquino rose after the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, on August 1.
He said other candidates must adjust their campaign strategy to cope with Aquino's surging popularity.
Aquino announced his bid for the presidency last September 9, 40 days after his mother's death. Liberal Party President Mar Roxas had earlier agreed to become his running mate.
A privately-commissioned SWS survey conducted in Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Region 3 and Region 4-A last September 5-6 showed 50 percent of respondents choosing Aquino as their presidential preference for the 2010 elections. (Read: 50% prefer Noynoy in vote-rich Luzon areas)
In this survey, a list of names were provided to the respondents including Sen. Manny Villar (13%), former president Joseph Estrada (13%), Sen. Francis Escudero (12%) and Vice-President Noli de Castro (7%).
(Correction: In the rider questions, respondents were asked to choose one from several names given, meaning, not necessarily just five names in the presidential survey, four names in the vice-presidential survey, and four in the tandems, as we first reported. - Eds.)