Survey laggard goes after Pulse Asia, SWS

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2019 01:38 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2019 02:52 PM

MANILA—A senatorial candidate trailing in surveys on Monday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to stop two major survey firms from publishing pre-election results, claiming they are “bogus” and part of a “mind-conditioning scheme.”

Lawyer Lorenzo Gadon said he still would have filed the petition against Pulse Asia Inc. and the Social Weather Stations (SWS) assuming he fared well in the two surveys.

Gadon, who was behind the impeachment complaint against former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, ranked from 26th to 36th places in Pulse Asia’s December survey.

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“Dapat nasa Top 12 ako!” he told reporters, raising questions over the credibility of the Pulse Asia and SWS results.

NEFARIOUS

In his petition, the lawyer said “there is now an urgent need” for the Comelec “to step in and stop this nefarious scheme of the respondents.”

“Allowing the continued publication of these questionable surveys will run counter to this honorable commission’s avowed objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections,” he said.

Gadon questioned how, say, a sample size of 1,800 respondents could credibly represent the preferences of 61 million registered voters.

“Asan ang logic dun? Eh pero pag nagpa-survey ka ng maraming-marami, lumalabas ako sa Magic 12,” he said.

In a previous interview, Pulse Asia’s research director Ana Maria Tabunda explained the statistical principle behind sampling.

“Ang paliwanag namin dyan, pag gusto mo i-test ang dugo, hindi mo naman inuubos yung dugo ng katawan ng tao,” she told ABS-CBN News.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Tabunda acknowledged that surveys could indeed influence certain people, but not majority of voters because of the changing “dynamics” of the campaign.

“Kung totoong nakaka-impuwensya ang survey at survey lamang,” she said, “yung unang lumabas, sya na dapat nanalo. Eh hindi nga ganun ang nangyayari.”

Gadon argued that the Comelec would be violating the “constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech” by issuing a resolution against Pulse Asia and SWS. 

“The regulation can be considered a valid content-neutral regulation,” he said, arguing that it “furthers an important or substantial governmental interest.”