Aquino, Osmeña rankings jump
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Opposition candidate and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas saw lower voter support in a Pulse Asia senatorial survey dominated by candidates of the administration backed-regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
Liberal Party's Roxas placed 11th to 17th with a 31.3-percent voter support in the March 23-27 survey, down from his 8th to 12th ranking in Pulse Asia's February survey.
Roxas had 39.8 percent voter support in the Feb. 24-28 poll.
Independent candidate and reelectionist Sen. Grace Poe topped the latest survey, with 72.6 percent of 1,800 respondents saying they would vote for her, said the pollster.
Ten of 16 candidates who have a "statistical chance of winning" in the May elections are from Hugpong, Pulse Asia said.
Among them are reelectionist Sen. Cynthia Villar at second place, Sen. Sonny Angara at the 3rd to 4th spot, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go at 3rd to 5th place, and Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano who ranked 4th to 6th.
Actor and former senator Lito Lapid, a candidate of the Nationalist People's Coalition, landed on the 5th to 8th spots, said Pulse Asia.
Sharing the 6th to 9th places, it added, were Sen. Nancy Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance and former national police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa of Hugpong.
They are followed by 4 other Hugpong candidates: former senator Ramon Revilla at 7th to 10 places, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos at 9th to 12th places, and former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino and former senator Jinggoy Estrada, both at 10th to 16th places.
It was the first time for Tolentino (ranked 10-16) and Estrada (10-16) to join the "Magic 12." Voter support for Tolentino increased to 35.7 percent, from 32.1 percent in the February survey, while Estrada voter support increased to 35.2 percent from 33.9 percent.
Tied at the 11th to 16th spots, meanwhile, were opposition bet Sen. Bam Aquino, Hugpong's Sen. Koko Pimentel and former senator Serge Osmeña, an independent candidate.
Voter support increased for Aquino by 3.4 percentage points to 33.8 percent from February's 30.4 percent, and for Osmeña by nearly 7 percentage points to 33 percent from the previous 26.7 percent.
Only 42 percent of respondents have 12 preferred candidates, the maximum number, said Pulse Asia.
Voters named an average of 9 candidates, the pollster said.
The nationwide survey was conducted on the heels of a "narco-list" of politicians and allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte's former adviser Michael Yang was involved in the narcotics trade, which Malacañang denied, noted Pulse.
Also around the time that the survey was conducted, 2 former officials and a group of fishermen filed a communication against Chinese President Xi Jingping before the International Criminal Court over Beijing's activities in disputed waters, said the pollster.
The survey has a ± 2.3 percent error margin at 95% confidence level.
In a statement, Hugpong chairperson Sara Duterte-Carpio said the survey result shows that her party's candidates are "effective in delivering the message of positive change."
"We are pushing a different kind of campaigning, something that does not involve maligning or attacking other candidates, and we think the voters agree with us," she said.
"But we cannot be happy until after the winners are proclaimed, so we shall continue to soar and fight until we succeed."