Villar, Noynoy tie again

PNS — SENATORS Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel Villar, Jr. found themselves neck and neck again in the race for the presidency, according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey.

The survey showed the keen rivals statistically tied two months before the May 10 elections as they were in an earlier SWS poll.

Campaigning in Davao City, Villar said he will keep reminding himself not to be overconfident in view of the SWS survey showing him and Aquino again “statistically tied” as frontrunners in the presidential contest.

Aquino garnered 36 percent while Villar got 34 percent. The LP presidential bet suffered a six percent drop in the recent SWS approval rating done from February 24 to February 28. Villar’s ratings, on the other hand, dropped one percentage point.

Sought for comment, Villar said: “One percent? Hindi ko na iniintindi ‘yan. Tabla na ‘yon. Iyun ang tinatawag na statistically insignificant. Mas gusto ko sana tumaas pa kami lahat. Kailangan pa rin naming mag-trabaho ng husto.”

”Lahat ng survey ay kino-consider namin. Malayo rin naman ang aming narating. Ibig sabihin nito mas nagugustuhan nila itong grupo. Mas lalo silang naliliwanagan sa ating mga plataporma. Nagiging mas mainit ang pagtanggap sa amin ng mga tao at lalong nabubuo ang NP. Gayun paman alam namin na kailangan pa rin magsumikap,” he said in a briefing.

“The gap between the two falls within the ±2.2 percent margin of error used in the Feb. 24-28 survey, which used face-to-face interviews of 2,100 registered voters nationwide,” according to a report in BusinessWorld on Tuesday.

The first SWS-BW poll used a new system, wherein respondents were given “ballots” they had to mark in private and then deposit in a container instead of the respondent responding orally.

The latest SWS results were in contrast to a February 21-25 Pulse Asia survey released last Friday which showed Aquino regaining his “wide lead” over Villar.

The Pulse Asia poll showed 36 percent for Aquino against 29 percent for Villar.

On the other hand, former President Joseph Estrada, the third-ranked bet, and fourth-ranked former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. notched up gains in the latest SWS survey.

Estrada picked up two points to score 15 percent, and Teodoro gained two points for a 6 percent share.

Changes in the vote percentages for the rest of the presidential bets were not significant from the previous January 21-24 poll.

Evangelist Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas went up by one point to 3 percent which kept him in fifth place. Behind Villanueva, Bagumbayan’s Sen. Richard Gordon’s 2 percent was unchanged.

Bringing up the rear were Kilusang Bagong Lipunan candidate Vetellano Acosta, who has been disqualified by the Commission on Elections for being a “nuisance candidate,” with 0.4 percent, independent candidate Nicanor Perlas whose 0.1 percentage point gain was good for only 0.2 percent, Ang Kapatiran bet John Carlos “JC” G. de Los Reyes who went down to 0.1 percent and independent candidate Sen. Ana Consuelo Madrigal whose 0.4 percent score in January fell sharply to 0.1 percent.