Binay, 37%; Poe, 21%; Roxas, 19%

The race for Malacañang in 2016, says the latest SWS survey, is led by (from left) Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is said to be “ecstatic” over high score amid corruption charges. Rising Grace Poe is reportedly inspired to be second “best”. Mar Roxas shows he’s catching up, at third place. INQUIRER file photos

The race for Malacañang in 2016, says the latest SWS survey, is led by (from left) Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is said to be “ecstatic” over high score amid corruption charges. Rising Grace Poe is reportedly inspired to be second “best”. Mar Roxas shows he’s catching up, at third place. INQUIRER file photos

It’s inspiring, she says. A little more push in 2015 perhaps and Sen. Grace Poe will be at the head of the race for Malacañang in 2016.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has found Poe one of the “three best leaders” to succeed President Aquino in 2016, behind Vice President Jejomar Binay and ahead of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.


But the SWS finding was not enough to shake Poe’s resolve not to run for a higher position after topping last year’s senatorial election, though she said yesterday, after learning about the latest boost for her fast-developing image as a potential presidential candidate, that she was grateful for the people’s approval of the job she was doing in the Senate.

“I continue to be grateful for the people’s trust, which is why even if [my] job is sometimes difficult or controversial, I am inspired by their approval,” she said.


Results of the SWS poll showed that 37 percent of 1,800 respondents picked Binay as the next President, 21 percent preferred Poe and 19 percent chose Roxas.

The survey was the first of a series of polls determining the three best leaders to be elected President in 2016. SWS previously conducted the survey 11 times between September 2007 and November 2009, before the presidential election of 2010.

SWS asked respondents who they believed were the good leaders who should succeed President Aquino in 2016.

Respondents were asked to give up to three names.


Plunder charges

The results were what Binay needed to cheer him up this holiday season after being accused of plunder a second time in the Office of the Ombudsman over alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati Science High School building when he was the mayor of Makati City.


Binay is already facing plunder charges in the Ombudsman over alleged overpricing in the construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II, a case also being investigated by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that has heard witnesses, mostly Binay’s political foes, accuse the Vice President of corruption and amassing ill-gotten wealth, including a 350-hectare agricultural farm in Rosario town, Batangas province.

The charges have eroded Binay’s ratings, falling to 31 percent in September from 41 percent in July in the latest Pulse Asia survey. He remains leading the pack, though.

Binay viewed the results of the SWS poll as Christmas greetings.

“To my fellow Filipinos, thank you very much for this warm Christmas greeting,” he said in a statement, adding that he was “grateful” to them for recognizing him as fit to assume the presidency.

He said he was “honored and humbled” to be found the best leader to succeed President Aquino.

Binay said the SWS finding would serve as his “guide” and “inspiration” to improve his work “despite the efforts of some quarters to distract me from fulfilling my mandate and my promise to serve the people.”

“In this joyous season of harmony and compassion, I urge all my colleagues in [the] government to renew our resolve in staying the course of good and effective governance. We owe it to ourselves, to our families, to our people, and to our country we all love and cherish,” Binay said.


Surging popularity

The SWS findings agreed with the latest Pulse Asia survey that found Poe in second place after Binay in voter preference for President, with her rating surging to 18 percent from 10 percent, overtaking Roxas, the ruling Liberal Party’s (LP) presumptive standard-bearer in the 2016 elections.

But Poe said Monday that looking for solutions to the country’s most pressing problems remained her priority.

“The problems we are facing at this time are more important. My personal political plans are not my priority as of now,” she said.

Roxas was not available for comment. He was reportedly in New York.

But Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Aquino administration remained focused on reforms and programs that would lead to the achievement of the goals under the Philippine Development Plan.

“Those surveys are part of the feedback from the people, and those are not the principal interest of the administration,” Coloma said.

LP’s alternative

Despite her reluctance to run for higher office, Poe’s name continues to be thrown around in LP circles where Roxas’ unpopularity with voters has forced talk of a search for an alternative presidential candidate.

There is also talk within the LP that Poe is being considered in the search for a vice-presidential running mate for Roxas, in competition with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which is also said to be angling to get Poe as Binay’s partner in the race for Malacañang.

Poe is an independent, but she ran as a guest candidate of the LP in the 2013 senatorial election, finishing in first place despite being a first-timer in politics.

Other leaders

Other leaders named in the SWS poll were Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (10 percent); Sen. Francis Escudero and former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada (9 percent); Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (5 percent); and Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano (3 percent).

Also on the list were former Senators Manny Villar and Panfilo Lacson, and Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (2 percent); and Senators Loren Legarda and Franklin Drilon, and boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao (1 percent).

Fifteen percent of respondents either refused or did not know their preferred President for 2016, 8 percent said none and 5 percent named other nominees who scored below 0.5 percent.

The noncommissioned survey, conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points. With a report from Inquirer Research

best leaders

Source: SWS

Q: According to the Constitution, the term of Pres. Noynoy Aquino is up to 2016 only, and there will be an election for a new President in May 2016. Who do you think are the good leaders who should succeed Pres. Aquino as President? You may give up to three names


Binay, Poe, Roxas lead new SWS poll

Binay satisfaction rating plunges to record low—SWS

Pulse Asia survey: Binay falling, Poe surging

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here

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TAGS: 2016 elections, Elections, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, Social Weather Station, survey, SWS, SWS survey
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