MANILA, Philippines?Tying Sen. Manuel ?Mar? Roxas II in the vice presidential race just days before the elections, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay said Thursday night that he would overtake Roxas on May 10.
?I expect my rating to go higher. It only shows that I?m bound to win,? Binay told the Philippine Daily Inquirer when asked about results of the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showing that he and Roxas were tied in the No. 1 spot.
In the SWS survey of 2,400 voters from May 2 to 3, support for Binay jumped 12 points, from 25 percent in April to 37 percent. Roxas? rating fell two points, from 39 to 37 percent.
Sen. Loren Legarda suffered a 12-point plunge, from 24 to 12 percent. The rating of Bayani Fernando, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair, went up from 2.9 to 4 percent.
The full report on the latest SWS poll will appear on Friday in BusinessWorld, which has first printing rights to the survey.
In the presidential race, the survey showed Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III widening his lead over his rivals.
Legarda?s loss, Binay?s gain
Roxas blamed the collapse of Legarda?s campaign for the increase in Binay?s numbers.
?He was able to get close only because of the collapse of Loren?s campaign. Our support has remained steadfast,? Roxas said in an interview.
He also scored Binay?s political ads for ?gross deception and misrepresentation and manipulation of public sentiment.?
But Roxas said he remained confident that the momentum of public support for his tandem with Aquino would pull them through on Election Day.
Aquino 42 percent
Aquino got 42 percent, 4 points higher than the rating he got in April. Erstwhile third-placer, Joseph Estrada, emerged slightly ahead of Sen. Manuel Villar at second place. The former president garnered 20 percent and Villar 19 percent.
Support for Villar dropped 7 points between April and May, while Estrada?s rating improved by 3 points. Former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.?s rating remained at 9 percent.
Aquino?s sister, TV personality Kris Aquino, posted the supposed results of the survey on her Twitter account Thursday.
Binay, running mate of Estrada, said the survey ?validates what we have been saying all along?that the Filipino masses are behind us judging by the warm reception we?ve been getting on the ground.?
The Makati mayor said Roxas was already desperate because the black propaganda against him was not working. (Binay was forced to admit that he had been unfaithful to his wife when the media reported his relationship with another woman.)
?People realized that I am the true opposition. I?m genuinely pro-poor, from head to toe, unlike him who is behind the e-VAT (expanded value-added tax) law which is now making life even more difficult for the poor,? Binay said.
Roxas used to dominate surveys on vice presidential preferences, followed by Legarda and Binay. But Roxas? ratings have consistently declined since the start of the campaign period in February, when he had a 45-percent rating.
Binay?s ratings have constantly improved, from 17 percent in February. Last month, when Binay tied Legarda at second place, Roxas said, ?Let them have a good fight for No. 2.?
Support for Binay increased even after he admitted he had been unfaithful to his wife.
Legarda, running mate of Villar, said the survey results were ?impossible and even hilarious.?
?It?s obviously a fraudulent and purchased survey,? she said.
She said SWS was living up to its reputation as a jukebox. ?If you put in money, it will sing its tune. In 2004, SWS predicted that FPJ (actor Fernando Poe Jr.) and I will lose in NCR when we actually won,? she added.
She dared the firm ?to show who commissioned the survey, who the respondents are and in what areas, if there was indeed such a survey.?
Legarda said the survey was clearly an operator?s job ?and anyone who believes it is out of his mind.?
Roxas said Binay used in his latest campaign advertisement a ?doctored photo? of Roxas and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the signing of the senator?s pet measure, the Cheaper Medicines law, almost two years ago.
In the Binay ad, which started airing on television on Wednesday night, an unnamed supporter compared the city mayor with another vice presidential candidate, allegedly an administration ally who pushed for the e-VAT law.
As the audio played on the background, a video was displayed showing Roxas lauding Ms Arroyo while signing a document, with the phrase ?Kakampi sa e-VAT? printed over the President?s head.
Roxas said the video was clearly altered to fit the advertisement?s message.
?This is deception at its purest form. The picture used was when GMA finally signed the Cheaper Medicines law. It says so in the background, but this was deliberately blurred,? he said.
He acknowledged that the original video would indeed show him clapping while Ms Arroyo signed the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicine Act on June 6, 2008.
Roxas said he was surprised by the latest survey results but he quickly added that his supporters remained upbeat about Election Day.
?Obviously, I did not expect this but I spent the whole day talking with our leaders, volunteers and supporters and they?re very upbeat,? he said.
Roxas added the SWS survey did not reflect the endorsement of the Iglesia ni Cristo, Pastor (Apollo) Quiboloy and other groups.
Estrada said he was closing in on Aquino and pulling away from Villar based on what he said was an internal survey conducted for the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino from April 30 to May 2 reportedly showed.
Estrada himself announced that his party?s internal survey showed that he had solidified his hold on second place.
Results of the survey presented by Estrada showed Aquino still at first place with 34 percent. Estrada got 29 percent and Villar, 15 percent.
Aquino?s lead, Estrada said, was ?not too insurmountable.? With reports from Michael Ubac and Norman Bordadora