Comelec grills Gadon’s camp over petition vs SWS, Pulse Asia
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday questioned the camp of senatorial candidate Larry Gadon on their basis for saying that the pre-election surveys published by two pollsters were “fake.”
Lawyer Al Vitangcol, legal counsel of Gadon, argued before the commissioners of the Comelec that the number of senatorial bets included in the questionnaire, the number of respondents, and the level of confidence, made the survey “fake.”
Present during the hearing were Commissioners Luie Tito Guia, Al Parreño, Marlon Casquejo, and Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas.
According to Vitangcol, the surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia “do not give accurate results” given the inconsistencies.
Casquejo asked Vitangcol for “direct proof” that the SWS surveys were indeed fake.
“Can you be specific [on] what makes it fake and bogus other than [saying that] it is not consistent? Do you have direct proof to say that the surveys were fake and bogus?” Casquejo asked Vitangcol.
“As admitted by the respondent, [in] the first survey, they used only 24 names for the candidates. For the second survey, they used only 37 names, so what happened to the 62 candidates?” Vitangcol answered.
“Then what makes it bogus and fake? That it is not bogus, with respect to the 24 candidates being submitted to the one commissioned. You cannot say categorically that it is bogus,” Casquejo said.
The surveys Casquejo and Vitangcol were referring to were the two commissioned surveys released by the SWS in December.
A survey commissioned by the Lakas–CMD (Lakas–Christian Muslim Democrats), which the party’s Deputy Secretary General Alde Pagulayan released to INQUIRER.net, showed Senator Grace Poe as the probable topnotcher in the 2019 senatorial race.
But in the other survey commissioned by Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino, Senator Cynthia Villar toped the pre-election polls.
Both surveys were conducted in the same period.
Albert Bacungan, legal counsel of SWS, explained that the number of candidates varies given that at the time the Comelec has released the official list of senatorial candidates for the May polls.
“There was still no official candidates for senators because if there were already official candidates for senators, SWS will not conduct surveys containing other names definitely,” Bacungan said.
The poll body only released the names of the qualified candidates on January 26, 2019. /ee
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