MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Manny Villar welcomed yesterday the results of a survey conducted by University of the Philippines students where he topped the list of presidential contenders.
“This kind of recognition from the people could only inspire us to do more,” Villar said.
The former Senate president said he is particularly happy with the result of the study showing wide reception and acceptance of the values of sipag at tiyaga (hard work and perseverance). A majority of the respondents cited as “desirable” Villar’s slogan of sipag at tiyaga and his advocacy to help improve the condition of overseas Filipino workers.
“It only means that our message of sipag at tiyaga as values necessary for the country’s progress has resonated well with our kababayan (countrymen),” he said.
The study showed that 15 percent of the respondents will vote for Villar, followed by Sen. Francis Escudero with 10 percent.
Escudero and Sen. Loren Legarda were also chosen by a majority of respondents as their choice for vice president, with eight percent each.
In the same survey, Villar emerged as the most popular potential candidate, with 79 percent of respondents saying he may run for office in 2010.
Following him were Legarda who got 48 percent, Vice President Noli de Castro with 45 percent, Sen. Mar Roxas (34 percent), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando (26 percent), Sen. Panfilo Lacson (25 percent), Escudero (22 percent), former President Joseph Estrada (16 percent), Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay (12 percent), and President Arroyo (6 percent).
The study titled “Impression: The importance of media presence on the bid for the 2010 national elections,” focused on perceptions on the media presence of possible presidential bets and vice presidential wannabes in the forthcoming polls.
It was conducted by Communication Research 165 (Data Interpretation and Gathering) students of UP under the supervision of Dr. Jose Lacson Jr. and Prof. Almond Pilar Aguila.
Data gathering was done from November to December 2008 with 10 focus group discussions composed of six to eight participants.
A survey was also done on respondents who live in Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Bulacan, Tarlac and Pampanga.
The UP Communication Research Department has been named a Center for Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education. It holds annual research on relevant communication issues such as news perception and reception.
Importance of surveys
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, secretary-general of Lakas, said administration officials who are hoping to get the party nomination should not disregard surveys and winnability as major factors to consider in eyeing the presidency.
Without directly naming MMDA chair Fernando, who is at the tail-end of poll surveys, Zubiri said those who have a low rating in surveys should reconsider their stand.
Zubiri said this message does not only go for Fernando but also for “several others.”
“We must be politically practical. Surveys are important. These should not be snubbed. Let us be true to ourselves. Otherwise, there might be mass exodus (from Lakas to other parties),” Zubiri said over dzBB radio last Sunday.
Gordon is considered as a “stronger bet” for the administration because he has shown independence in expressing his views on several issues, Zubiri said.
Meantime, Escudero is confident that they will be able to come up with a common candidate for the 2010 elections from the ranks of the genuine opposition, stressing that there are genuine and fake members of the United Opposition.
“There are those who claim to be opposition but are not really opposition,” he added.
“Right now, we still have not chosen anyone yet,” said Escudero, who arrived in Davao City recently for a series of engagements.– Christina Mendez with Edith Regalado, Philippine Star