Opposition is leading in Pulse survey

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — OPPOSITION candidates continue to lead the May 2007 senatorial race, according to a pre-election survey conducted by pollster Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia, in a statement released Wednesday, said 14 personalities, seven of whom are in the initial list of eight of the United Opposition, are likely to win.

“If the May 2007 elections were held today, 14 personalities – seven of whom are officially part of the United Opposition’s senatorial slate, six may or may not run under the administration’s ticket, and one will run as an independent opposition candidate – would have a statistical chance of winning a senatorial seat. This figure is lower than the 19 recorded in November 2006,” it said, citing as basis face-to-face field interviews conducted from January 25 to 29.

Leading the list of probable winners is former Senator Loren Legarda, with 46.6% of Filipino adults expressing support for her candidacy.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson came in second (34.6%), Senate minority leader Francis Pangilinan third (34.6%), Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (31.7%) fourth and former senator Vicente Sotto III (28.8%) fifth.

“These individuals may be considered as sure winners if elections were held today given that their current statistical rankings range from 1st to 11th places – clearly within the winning circle of 12 senators,” Pulse Asia said.

Of the five, Sotto is not a member of the initial eight bets in the UNO slate. Sotto moved to the Nationalist People’s Coalition last month.

Ranking 5th to 14th are: Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. (26.4%); Sen. Ralph Recto (26.0%); Sen. Joker Arroyo (25.8%); San Juan Mayor Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito (25.7%); Aquilino Pimentel III (24.4%); and Sen. Edgardo Angara (24.0%).

Completing the list of probable winners are former Sen. Gregorio Honasan (23.3%); House minority leader Francis Escudero (23.2%); and Tarlac Rep. Benigno Aquino III (22.5%).