General Admission

Villar topples Poe at No. 1; Go & Bato on the go

By Al S. Mendoza

CYNTHIA Villar is now No. 1.

That’s the latest in the survey held from April 10 to 14—allegedly noncommissioned.

If those surveyed were to vote one month before the May 13 senatorial election, Villa would be their first choice.

Of the 1,800 respondents of voting age, 51.7 percent listed Villar as No. 1, toppling long-running election frontrunner Grace Poe.

Poe dropped to No. 2, still very close behind Villar at 50.5 percent.

I am no fan of surveys, actually.

The main reason being, that many surveys did not reflect the results of past elections.

For example, Poe was never No. 1 in the surveys when she first run for the Senate.

She was not even a close contender then.

But after the 2013 election, Poe was No. 1.

She herself was stunned.

And in the 2016 senatorial race, the No. 1 finisher was Frank Drilon.

Before the election that year, the surveys always showed Tito Sotto as No. 1; he ended up fourth.

Because of her No. 1 performance in 2013, Poe was goaded into running for President in 2016.  

Illusions are cruel.

And so, Poe lost—badly.

Had she settled to run for vice president in 2016, under Digong maybe, she might have won—by a landslide yet.

Going back to the April 10-14 senatorial survey, it showed that Lito Lapid was running third, with Pia Cayetano fourth and Sonny Angara fifth.

You will notice that the Top 5 are familiar names in politics, with Villar, Poe and Angara being currently incumbent senators.

Lapid and Cayetano were former senators and their strong showing in the surveys doesn’t surprise me anymore.

In Philippine politics, name recall, if not popularity, is the name of the game.

And when it comes to popularity, our Filipino masses—sadly mostly misinformed—always play a crucial role in making a candidate a winner or not.

Continuing with the April 20-14 survey, Nancy Binay is 6th, Bong Go 7th, Bato dela Rosa 8th, Bong Revilla 9th, Koko Pimentel 10th, Bam Aquino 11th and the threesome of Jinggoy Estrada, Imee Marcos and JV Ejercito grappling for the 12th and final spot.

Of the Magic 10 contenders, only two are political greenhorns: Bong Go and Bato dela Rosa.

There is but one logical explanation for their strong showing in the surveys:  President Duterte has been vigorously campaigning for them.

No surprise there as Bong Go has been the President’s most trusted ally for the longest time and Bato dela Rosa was Mr. Duterte’s first PNP chief when he came to the Palace in 2016.

Likewise, the strong showing of Bong Go and Bato is another proof of President Duterte’s pulling power to be as strong as ever, as surveys consistently show.

Now in the case of Mar Roxas not appearing in the winner’s circle consistently, I do not have the faintest of ideas.

And to think that he finished No. 1 as senator in the 2004 election.

Could be that he is on his way to the dustbin of political history?

Always, everything must end—even the so-called good ones.

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