MANILA, Philippines – Candidates from Liberal Party-led coalition now dominate the senatorial race with seven of its candidates landing in the Magic 12, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano shared the top three spots in the list.
Legarda received 56.7 percent while Escudero and Cayetano received 54 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively.
Significant improvement was seen for two LP candidates: Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, both jumping from their earlier 13th to 15th places to 4th to 9th for Aquino and 4th to 10th for Poe.
The younger Aquino received 43.2 percent in the survey and shared the 4th to 9th places with former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar (44 percent), United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) bet San Juan Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito Estrada (43.8 percent), and UNA deputy secretary-general Nancy Binay (42.5 percent).
Following closely are Poe(42.1 percent) and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III (40.1 percent) who grabbed the 4th to 12th places.
UNA candidates Senator Gregorio Honasan and Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile, son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, made it to the top 12 with Honasan (37.9 percent) ranking 8th to 13th and Enrile (36.6 percent) taking on the 9th to 15th places.
The last spot in the Magic 12 went to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who obtained 36.1 percent and ranked 9th to 15th.
Dropping out of the top 12 are Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri who received 35.1 percent and 33.2 percent, respectively.
From sharing the 11 to 12 ranking, Angara slipped lower to 10th-15th while Zubiri placed 11th to 16th.
Lagging behind was former Senator Richard Gordon who received 32.2 percent and ranked 11th to 16th.
Pulse Asia said that while the last six candidates made it to the winners’ circle, “some of them might end up not making it to the Senate given their lowest statistical ranking (13th to 16th places).”
The latest ranking was the result of Pulse Asia’s face-to-face interviews with 1,800 respondents from February 24 to 28.
The survey also determined that around four in 10 Filipinos [42 percent] already have a complete slate for the electoral exercise while 5.5 percent were not inclined to support any of the senatorial bets for the midterm elections.