By Daniel Llanto l Filam Star Correspondent
All perceptions that the wanna-be senators under the ruling PDP-Laban Party would be a powerhouse slate were shattered when the latest Pulse Asia survey on the preferred senatorial candidates of Filipinos for next year’s mid-term elections showed only three making it to the magic circle of 12.
Based on the Pulse Asia survey, whose polls in past elections are known for high percentages of accuracy, only presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, former Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III stand a chance of getting elected. Incidentally, Pimentel was not included in the initial lists of PDP-Laban bets drawn by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and had complained accordingly since he is president of the ruling party.
The survey list was topped by Sen. Grace Poe followed by three other women. Poe took solo lead, garnering 67.4 percent of votes of 1,800 registered voters nationwide.
Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano came in second with a voter preference of 55.7 percent, while Sen. Cynthia Villar garnered 50.1 percent voter preference that translates to a statistical ranking of 3rd to 4th.
Villar was followed by Duterte-Carpio with 46.2 percent level of support, obtaining a statistical ranking of 3rd to 5th.
Pulse Asia said 13 of 58 individuals included in the poll had a statistical chance of winning, based on the survey taken from June 15 to 21.
Sen. Sonny Angara was ranked 4th to 8th with 41.9 percent voter preference. Other probable winners were former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (37.9 percent), now Bureau of Corrections Chief Dela Rosa (37.7 percent) and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III (37.7 percent), all of whom were ranked 5th to 12th.
Sen. Nancy Binay obtained 37.1 percent with a statistical ranking of 6th to 12th place.
Binay was followed by former Sen. Sergio Osmeña (36.6 percent), former Sen. Lito Lapid (36.2 percent) and Sen. JV Ejercito (35.6 percent), who all have statistical rankings between 6th to 13th places.
Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV garnered 32.1 percent of votes, obtaining a ranking of 10th to 16th place.
The more prominent of Duterte’s men were said to be already campaigning for a Senate seat, bringing up the rear in the survey. Special Assistant to the President Bong Go was ranked only between 23rd and 31st place, still far from a top-12 finish needed to land a Senate seat.
Meanwhile, languishing at the bottom of the survey are presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, political adviser Francis Tolentino, PCOO Assistant Sec. Mocha Uson, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman and Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles.
The singer Freddie Aguilar, a prominent supporter of the President and who was rumored to be being considered for a government post, was also on the list of candidates. He also failed to reach the winning list after getting the support of a negligible 9.3 percent of the respondents.
Asked to comment on his poor showing in the survey, Roque said it was not yet the campaign season and that they are focused on their jobs in government.
Pulse Asia noted that about 11 months to go before the mid-term elections, a small majority of Filipinos or 55 percent already have a complete slate for the senatorial race.
Majority figures were recorded in virtually all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (55 to 63 percent and 54 to 59 percent, respectively), with the rest of Luzon being the only exception at 47 percent, the pollster said.
The non-commissioned survey has a sampling error margin of plus or minus two percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
The filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2019 mid-term elections starts on the first week of October.
Poe said she was grateful for the trust of Filipinos. “The survey is about trust and approval for public service that ought to be felt, especially by the poor. It is also the people’s affirmation for the work of the women in politics,” Poe said.