By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-electoral survey with BusinessWorld, the Liberal Party’s neophyte Congresswoman Leni Robredo snatched the top spot for Vice-president from Sen. Bongbong Marcos.
In the BusinessWorld-SWS survey, Robredo got 26 percent approval while Marcos followed with 25 percent, Escudero with 18 percent, Cayetano with 16 percent, Trillanes IV with 5 percent and Honasan with 2 percent. Five percent were undecided.
The latest April 2016 survey was conducted from April 18-20, 2016 with 1,800 respondents (validated voters) using face-to-face interviews with 300 each in Metro Manila, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and North and South Mindanao with a error margin of ±2% for national percentages and ±6% for each region stated above.
In a post from gmanetwork.com, Robredo is reported to be the biggest gainer among the candidates for vice president with a 7-point surge, compared to the previous SWS survey last March 20-April 2.
When asked to react, Robredo told reporters that when she started the campaign trail, it seemed impossible to catch up, “But now, it’s happening.”
“I’m very happy. … I’m more encouraged that our labor is bearing fruit,” Robredo told reporters in Pampanga in The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
According to The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Robredo said that she’s not comfortable with the lead as she’s only one notch away from Marcos.
“It’s a hairline gap, but we hope to maintain it in the last 14 days,” she said.
The report also noted the “key factors” in Robredo’s surge in the polls, one is the recently concluded April 17 candidates for vice-president survey organized by ABS-CBN and the endorsement of key personalities such as the President’s sister Kris Aquino and actor Dingdong Dantes.
Robredo’s daughters also supported her campaign by joining several political events. Her eldest daughter Aika is scheduled to attend several multi-sectoral campaigns in NCR while Robredo’s second daughter Tricia and third daughter Jillian are both attending schedules in behalf of their mom when their schedules permit.
Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science assistant professor at De La Salle University, told The Philippine Daily Inquirer Robredo’s authenticity, her previous work as a lawyer serving women, and farmers in distress could be the reasons why she topped the surveys.
Heydarian also pointed out that Robredo compared to Marcos, “has no skeleton in her closet.”
“Although she is the administration candidate, she seems to be authentic. She doesn’t talk that much about Mar Roxas and Daang Matuwid. Instead, she uses the Naga-Robredo model of governance which is resonating to the public,” Heydarian added.
“A pattern for cheating”
According to The Philippine Star, Sen. Bongbong Marcos questioned the survey result with Robredo overtaking him in a span of just one week.
“We are quite surprised by the new survey because all other surveys show otherwise. I hope this is not a pattern for cheating,” Marcos told reporters in Borongan, Eastern Samar.
Marcos also said that he’s not relying that much on surveys but would continue to work hard in gaining more supporters and informing the people of his platform.
Another group that is wary of the SWS survey result is the Fernando Poe Jr. for President Movement (FPJPM).
In their interview with The Philippine Star, the group expressed their concern that SWS is “laying the groundwork for the repeat of the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections.”
“If you can still remember, toward the end of the elections, SWS showed a survey that Arroyo was ahead of FPJ. They also had an exit poll showing that Arroyo won over FPJ in the National Capital Region but the election results showed FPJ winning by a wide margin over the re-electionist in the NCR,” Manny Fortes, National Chairman of FPJPM told The Philippine Star.
Fortes added that the release of the latest SWS survey with Robredo jumping a 7-point surge to lead over Marcos is ”reminiscent of the 2004 race between then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and movie icon Fernando Poe Jr.”
In another survey released by Pulse Asia on April 26 and conducted last April 16-20, Marcos leads Robredo by 5 points at 29 percent with Robredo at 24 percent.
According to Pulse Asia, Marcos is the top pick for VP in Metro Manila at 39 percent and the rest of Luzon at 37 percent while Robredo leads in Visayas with 33 percent and Cayetano with a highest voter preference in Mindanao at 34 percent.