Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gibo and Noynoy neck-and-neck

MANILA, Philippines - A new mock poll among students showed both Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III breasting the tape in the race to become the next president of the Philippines.

Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, UST rector, said in a news briefing the results were from the third and final Political Opinions of the Youth Survey (POYS) conducted from February 16 to 19 at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila.

De la Rosa said Aquino and Gibo led other presidential candidates with 33.2 percent and 32.5 percent, respectively, or a difference of 0.7 percent—“effectively a statistical tie.”

Aquino and Gibo, who are second cousins, placed 11th and 13th, respectively, in the first survey round in August, then shot to first and second place, respectively, in the second survey round in December with 34.7 percent and 33.5 percent.

“The UST polls validated a persistent trend in campus mock polls indicating that the former defense chief is emerging as a serious contender in the wings in what was originally perceived as a neck-and-neck fight between Senators Aquino and Manny Villar for the presidency,” said former press secretary Mike Toledo, who is now Gibo’s spokesman and director of the G1BO Media Bureau.

Recent reports point to Gibo’s poll bounce, with his ratings breaking through the two-digit barrier and threatening to dislodge or actually dislodging former President Joseph Estrada from the No. 3 slot, Toledo said.

The UST poll placed Sen. Richard Gordon at third place with 15.4 percent, the largest percentage increase among the candidates from 7.7 percent in the survey conducted in December 2009.

Villar obtained 7.2 percent of the votes, down from 10.3 percent in December 2009, and half his votes in August, when he scored 14.6 percent.

Bro. Eddie Villanueva obtained 1.5 percent of the votes; Estrada, 1 percent; environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, 0.7 percent; Olongapo Councilor JC de los Reyes, 0.2 percent; and Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 0.1 percent.

Asked to tick off the main issues affecting the country that politicians should address, 18.9 percent cited corruption in society; poverty, 16.3 percent; education access and quality, 15.9 percent; peace and order, 10.6 percent; and inefficient government services, 8.8 percent.

Dela Rosa said that of the target respondents of 35,889, almost 40 percent or 13,599 students from 12 colleges of the university participated in the final survey round.

“With almost 40 percent response rate, the margin of error of the survey was already less than 1 percent. The survey was implemented using the E-leap system of the Ed-Tech Center of UST through the Central Commission on Elections under the Office for Student Affairs,” de la Rosa said.

Toledo said the UST polls join the growing list of mock polls conducted in universities and colleges nationwide that Gibo has been dominating in the past two months.

At the Ateneo de Manila University, which is Aquino’s alma mater, the mock election set aside school ties to choose Gibo as the students’ presidential preference (598 Gibo versus 589 Aquino), Toledo said.

At the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, which was presumed to be Villar’s turf because he took his undergrad there (Gibo had his BA from La Salle and law at UP), Toledo said that students went for Gibo (1,669 or 25 percent for Gibo versus 1,481 or 22 percent for Aquino) .

At UP Mindanao, Gibo garnered 33.3 percent of votes, followed by Aquino (24.4 percent), Gordon (20 percent) and Villar (13.3 percent), he said.

Toledo said the most stunning support for Gibo came from students of Holy Angel University in Angeles City.

The conventional wisdom was the students there would go for Aquino, a fluent Pampango speaker and considered a native son. Instead , the mock polls showed a decisive vote for Gibo, a 2-1 lead over Aquino .

Gibo netted 1,432 ballots (38.829 percent), Aquino received 958 botes (25.976 percent), followed by Villar with 954 (25.868 percent) and Estrada with 39 (1.057 percent).

“The youth are out-of-the-box thinkers,” explained Toledo.

He noted that the youth are apparently attracted to Gibo’s master plan for sustained growth and lasting peace as laid out in his ‘Sulong Pilipinas’ platform, that comprises education reform, health care, food security, environmental protection, continuation of the public infrastructure build-up, and a tough stance versus crime and terrorism.

“Because of the youth support, Gibo’s ratings have broken through the double-digit level, and this poll bounce will be complemented by a minimum 15 percent of votes that will be delivered by the formidable political machinery of Lakas-Kampi-CMD down to the grassroots,” he said.

Citing Lakas-Kampi-CMD data, Toledo said the ruling party has candidates for 170 or 73.9 percent of all House seats up for grabs, 64 or 80 percent of the 86 gubernatorial posts, 86 or 71 percent of 126 city mayoralty slots, and 1,043 or 69 percent of all seats for municipal mayors.

“Once the official campaign period for local candidates kick in later this month (March), the full weight of the ruling party machinery will kick in – to deliver the decisive number of votes for Gibo in the May 10 presidential polls,” he said.

No comments: