Uphill battle for LP senatorial bets, SWS survey shows

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 08:08 PM

Senator Bam Aquino (center), Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III (right) and Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno (left) during the Liberal Party National Executive Council (NECO) Meeting at the Barangay Loyola Heights Multi-Purpose Hall on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, September 25, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The road to the Senate may be an uphill battle for new Liberal Party (LP) candidates, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed Thursday.

The opposition party's three confirmed bets were all out of the roster of 12 possible winners in the senatorial race, an SWS survey taken last month and released Thursday showed. 

The poll was commissioned by Francis Tolentino, who was supposed to run under the LP senatorial slate in May 2016 but left after a controversy. He lost the race but was later appointed President Rodrigo Duterte's political adviser. 

In the survey, reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino landed on the 13th spot, former Deputy House Speaker Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada II ranked 21st, and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno placed in the 23rd to 24th range.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey on preferred senatorial candidates, the three also missed the list of possible winners: Aquino placed in the 18 to 23 range, Tañada in the 36 to 46 range, and Diokno in the 44 to 62 range.

All three candidates are scions of opposition leaders during the martial law regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

Bam Aquino is a nephew of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino, whose assassination in 1983 spurred events that led to the EDSA People Power uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

Tañada was a student activist during the martial law years. His father, former Senator Lorenzo Tañada, was detained during martial law alongside Ninoy Aquino.

Diokno is the son of the late Senator Jose "Pepe" Diokno, who was among the first to be arrested on September 22, 1972, the day after Marcos declared martial law. 

The survey was conducted from Sept. 15 to 23 this year and asked respondents to choose their 12 bets out of 24 personalities. 

Reelectionists and those seeking to return to the chamber topped the list. Tolentino, who commissioned the survey, placed 15th. 

The survey was done using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults nationwide and has a 3+/- percent sampling error margin for national percentages.