Kapatiran candidate assails election surveys

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MANILA, Philippines—Ang Kapatiran Party senatorial candidate John Carlos de los Reyes slammed the polling firms Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations on Thursday, accusing them of conditioning the minds of voters and promoting what he called “sabong mentality” (making rivalries out of innocent people) among Filipinos.

De los Reyes said in an interview that “Pulse Asia should be called False Asia instead.”

“Surveys are supposed to be systematic. They’re supposed to be a way of gauging the [chances of winning] of a candidate,” he said, adding, however, that he was “wary of outfits that publicize their survey results irresponsibly so as to make the same surveys a basis for mind conditioning and to communicate to the people the sabong mentality politics, which preaches ‘dito tayo sa malakas na kandidato dahil sayang lang ang boto natin doon sa mga mahihinang kandidato’(join the winning group and don’t waste your vote by choosing weak candidates).”

Both Pulse Asia and SWS are “wittingly or unwittingly conditioning the minds of the voters,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Surveys won’t influence me…. A high or low ranking in these surveys will not increase or decrease my resolve to introduce my mission to the Filipino people. I’m committed to contribute a responsible and accountable brand of politics through our Kapatiran Party,” he added.

Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, the Bangon Pilipinas party’s lone senatorial bet, meanwhile, said he believed in the “integrity of both SWS and Pulse Asia” in spite of the “inside maneuverings made by some political operators in the 2004 and 2010 elections.”

“I won’t name names but the same political operators had confessed to me they really did something irregular during those two national elections,” he said.

But “generally, I believe in surveys,” the leader of the Jesus is Lord church said.

Both De los Reyes and Villanueva have yet to make it to surveys’ winning circle, which is dominated by the senatorial bets of the administration coalition, composed of the Liberal Party, Akbayan, Nationalist People’s Coalition, Nacionalista Party and PDP-Laban.

In Pulse Asia’s Feb. 24-28 survey, Villanueva and De los Reyes placed 20th and 24th, respectively, among 33 senatorial candidates. Another independent bet, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn fared better, placing 19th.

Both Villanueva and De los Reyes also failed to make it to the so-called “Magic 12″ in the latest SWS survey, topped by nine administration candidates and three from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.

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