MANILA, Mar 27 (Mabuhay) — Senator Francis Escudero had always kept the second spot in most pre-election surveys for the May 2013 senatorial election. That all changed when the latest Social Weather Stations survey conducted last March 15-17 showed Escudero dropping 14 points from 62 percent to only 48 percent.
He now shares the 3rd-4th spots with San Juan congressman Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, while re-electionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano has made it to the Top 2 in the Senate race.
Some people are wondering if Escudero’s removal from the United Nationalist Alliance slate last February 21 affected his popularity among voters. The UNA earlier dropped Escudero, Grace Poe and Loren Legarda as common candidates of the coalition.
Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, spokesman of the Liberal Party-led coalition Team PNoy, doesn’t believe there is a connection between UNA’s decision and Escudero’s drop in the SWS poll.
“Walang koneksyon ang pagkakasipa sa UNA. Kung titignan po natin matagal na po siyang inalis ng UNA at makikita po natin na despite yung pagkakaalis po sa kanila ng UNA ay tumaas pa silang lalo. Ang nakikita po natin na marami pong iba na mas nag-aadvertise kaysa sa iba kaya po tingin namin mas umaarangkada,” he said.
Team PNoy also does not believe Escudero’s drop in the survey was caused by recent problems involving his girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista. Evangelista’s mother, Cecile Ongpauco, has denounced Escudero as a braggart and a drunk and said she does not want Escudero to marry her daughter.
Quimbo said the squabble could have a positive effect on Escudero’s ranking. He said the latest SWS survey, conducted last March 15-17, was finished before Ongpauco conducted a press conference to lambast Escudero.
“Sa tingin namin may positibo pa rin itong epekto… Nag-iibigan po sila pareho naman silang available… Naniniwala kami na makakatulong pa ito,” he said.
“Among all the candidates na nakikita natin si Sen. Chiz na lamang ang walang advertisement na nilalabas. We expect na tataas pa ulit si Senator Chiz. Di na yan maaalis sa top 12. We expect him to even do better once his advertisement start coming,” he added.
UNA, meanwhile, refused to comment on the survey results after publicly urging the private pollster to name its financiers.
Re-electionist Sen. Loren Legarda continued to top the senatorial race with 59 percent support of voters, according to the SWS survey. Trailing just 2 percentage points behind her is Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, another member of Team PNoy.
Escudero and Ejercito shared 3rd-4th place followed by another UNA candidate, Nancy Binay.
The complete results are:
1. Loren Legarda – 59% from 64%
2. Alan Cayetano – 57% from 58%
3 to 4. JV Ejercito – 48% from 42%
3 to 4. Chiz Escudero – 48% from 62%
5 to 7. Nancy Binay – 47% from 47%
5 to 7. Cynthia Villar 47% from 53%
5 to 7. Koko Pimentel – 47% from 48%
8. Sonny Trillanes – 44% from 46%
9. Gringo Honasan – 43% from 34%
10. Bam Aquino – 42% from 42%
11. Grace Poe – 40% from 48%
12. Sonny Angara – 39% from 39% (MNS)