MANILA, Philippines—Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said he would compel survey firms like Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia to identify not just their financiers but also the subscribers of their preelection surveys.
“We feel that they have to disclose and we shall order them to disclose,” Brillantes said after the Comelec held a hearing on a demand of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance that SWS disclose the identities of those who commission their surveys.
“We will compel them. They have to go to the Supreme Court to stop us. Otherwise, we will do something. Any violation of our resolution and the law has a criminal aspect,” he added.
The SWS already disclosed that the survey they conducted in February that showed administration candidates ahead of others, was “non-commissioned,” or financed by the SWS itself. But the survey group insisted that the law does not require them to disclose the subscribers of their information.
“The law does not require us to disclose the subscribers precisely because it is our position that they did not pay for the surveys,” argued SWS lawyer Albert Bacungan during the hearing.