PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Seven candidates from the Genuine Opposition, three from Team Unity and two independents led in the latest survey of Senate aspirants released by Social Weather Stations Wednesday.
Reelectionist Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who had just been dropped by GO from its lineup, led the survey, with 56 percent of voters polled choosing him.
GO candidates Loren Legarda (54 percent), Manuel Villar (52 percent), Alan Peter Cayetano (43 percent), Panfilo Lacson (43 percent) and Francis Escudero (37 percent) ranked next. Right behind were Team Unity’s Ralph Recto (37 percent) and Vicente Sotto 3rd (31 percent).
GO’s John Osmeña and Benigno Aquino 3rd are tied with 30 percent. They are followed by independent candidate Gregorio Honasan (29 percent) and Team Unity reelectionist Joker Arroyo (28 percent).
SWS President Mahar Mangahas said Michael Defensor, Sonia Roco, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Cesar Montano, Richard Gomez, Vicente Magsaysay, Anna Dominique Coseteng, Prospero Pichay Jr., Antonio Trillanes, Tessie Aquino-Oreta and Luis Singson lagged far behind the 12th slot.
The SWS also noted significant changes in ranking from last November’s survey. Pangilinan has moved from third to first; Villar, from seventh to third; Cayetano, from tied for fifth to tied-fourth; Escudero, from tenth to tied-sixth; Osmeña and Aquino, both from tied-12th to tied-ninth; Arroyo, from tied-12th to solo 12th; and Roco, from 17th to 16th.
The comparative ranking for November 2006 was adjusted to exclude names of those who did not file their candidacy for senator.
Those who lost ground in the February survey were Legarda, who slid from first to second; Lacson, from second to tied-fourth; Sotto, from fourth to eighth; Recto, from tied-fifth to tied-sixth; Honasan, from tied-eighth to eleventh; Pimentel, from tied-eighth to 14th; Angara, from 11th to 13th; and Pichay, from 18th to 22nd (due to the entry of fresh candidates Zubiri, Gomez, Montano, Magsaysay and Coseteng).
Mangahas said the latest survey was conducted February 24-27 using the names of all 80 persons who filed their candidacy.
SWS said it interviewed 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao [sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages] .”
Pangilinan, Legarda and Cayetano also fared well in surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and Ibon in January consistently landing in the top four including the latest from SWS.