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SENATORIAL RACE: PACMAN SURGES TO 3rd SPOT IN SWS POLL; DRILON, SOTTO REMAIN ON TOP


APRIL 26 -Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao obtained 37 percent of votes from 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters. File Photo 
 Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao climbed to third spot in the latest senatorial survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). Pacquiao obtained 37 percent of votes from 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters. The poll was conducted from April 18 to 20 or after his victory against Timothy Bradley Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 10. Pacquiao’s ratings dipped following the backlash generated by his statement that compared gays to animals. He previously placed fifth to seventh in the SWS survey. He is the only candidate from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) who has consistently entered the so-called Magic 12. Reelectionist Sens. Franklin Drilon of the Liberal Party (LP) and Vicente Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) continued to top the survey with 45 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Former senator Francis Pangilinan (LP) ranked fourth with 36 percent. He is followed by independents Panfilo Lacson and Juan Miguel Zubiri, who both obtained 34 percent. Former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros shared the seventh to ninth slots with former justice secretary Leila de Lima and former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief Joel Villanueva with 33 percent each. All of them belong to the LP-led Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid. Sen. Sergio Osmeña III landed in 10th place with 32 percent. He is followed by former senator Richard Gordon (independent) and Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian (NPC) with 30 percent each. Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (LP) was outside the Senate winning circle with 27 percent.THE FULL REPORT...Leni: Impossible is now happening ROBREDO TAKES 7-PT LEAP TO TIE MARCOS IN SWS POLL...

ALSO: Duterte survives rape furor; Leni now No. 1 tie with Marcos


APRIL 26 -Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte remained the leading presidential candidate for the May 9 elections, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey. The survey also showed administration candidate Leni Robredo leaping past Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the race for vice president. AP file/Leni Robredo Facebook page
Despite reaping widespread condemnation for his comment about the rape and killing of an Australian missionary, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte remained the leading presidential candidate for the May 9 elections, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey. Support for Duterte rose to 33 percent in the SWS April 18-20 poll from 27 percent in the March 30-April 2 survey.
The poll was taken in the days after Duterte’s comment at a campaign rally on April 12 had gone viral online. It showed administration candidate Leni Robredo leaping past Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the race for vice president. But with just two points between them, they remain in a statistical tie for the top spot. In the presidential race, former frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe remained in second place with 24 percent voter preference – a slight increase from 23 percent. Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas overtook Vice President Jejomar Binay in third spot with 19 percent from 18 percent in the previous survey. Binay, standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), ranked fourth with 14 percent, down six points from 20 percent. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago remained last with only two percent voter preference, slightly lower than the three percent she previously posted. The SWS survey had a total 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters. It has sampling error margins of plus or minus two percentage points. READ MORE...RELATED, Leni: Impossible is now happening ....

ALSO: Amid rigging raps, SWS disowns new poll


APRIL 28 -Amid the slew of surveys appearing lately, another popped up yesterday and was even reported by ABS-CBN newscaster Noli de Castro showing that the presidential battle has tightened anew among the top three candidates but the results of the survey were promptly denied by Social Weather Stations (SWS) to which it was attributed. SWS has this position that if the person who commissioned the survey refuses to acknowlege the survey, then SWS will have no choice but to deny the survey, even if it exists. The disowned SWS survey, which a source said existed but was privately commissioned by Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, showed PDP-Laban bet Rodrigo Duterte at 27 percent; independent candidate Grace Poe, 26 percent, and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay with 23 percent. She came off second to Sen. Bongbong Marcos in the VP race. In disowning the survey, SWS said it has not conducted any survey on voter preferences during the period of April 20 to 23 which was indicated in the assailed poll. SWS noted that the survey it is disowning was “stated in the SMS (text) messages being passed around, reported in some radio programs, and posted in social media. “Everyone is reminded to rely only on the SWS website at http://www.sws.org.ph for its official media releases and public reports,” it added The pollster has been lately besieged by allegations of manipulating survey formulas to suit some political ends  Not only has it been found to be manipulating regional representation in its surveys, but doubts have been raised also on its alleged manipulation of survey results. According to former Ambassador and Press Secretary Rigoberto “Bobi” Tiglao, the SWS has adopted a new approach to its surveys which could be the reason to the sudden drastic decline of the ratings of Binay. In his column for the Manila Times, Tiglao said SWS’ new polling method allows votes for Binay and vice presidential contender Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – whose ratings have dropped for a reason – to be rejected on grounds, as the SWS itself describes it, of “invalid markings.” Tiglao said the SWS used the new method, which it had never used before, only in the last two surveys, which showed the ratings of Binay and Marcos drastically dropping. Cheating dry run Instead of the standard procedure of the pollster writing down the name of the candidate the respondents say they will vote for (and therefore, accepting these at face value), Tigalo said the new method asks the respondents to mark their choice in a ballot, privately, and put it in a container. READ MORE...RELATED, Web posts show SWS ‘disowned’ poll held...

ALSO: KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES - Jejomar Binay: 24-hour veteran of 60,000 wakes


APRIL 28 -MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY Presidential aspirant Jejomar Binay and running mate Gringo Honasan work the crowd during the launch in July 2015 of the United Nationalist Alliance for the 2016 elections. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ 
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are running the profiles of the presidential and vice presidential candidates to offer voters insights into their character, hoping these will help the electorate make an informed choice on May 9. VICE PRESIDENT Jejomar Binay clearly has a thing for visiting the dead, having gone to 60,000 wakes during the two decades that he was mayor of Makati City. On average, he would go to eight to 20 wakes every night, Binay told Radyo Inquirer early this month. “I would go home at 1 or 2 a.m. So I have gone to 60,000 wakes,” Binay said. Now running for President, Binay still goes to wakes—even on the campaign trail. In Laguna province last month, Binay and the other candidates of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) took time off from the campaign to visit a wake on a street where they had just staged a rally. Binay’s communication director, Joey Salgado, who has been working for him since his days at Makati City Hall, said the Vice President “grew up with that tradition” of going to wakes. “As a mayor, he (Binay) found out it also gave him an opportunity to get instant feedback about city government services,” Salgado told the Inquirer. Acknowledging Binay’s penchant for going to wakes, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the UNA president, explained that wakes were the places mayors learned about the problems of the villages and they could act on them immediately. Political points Undoubtedly, however, mayors score political points with their constituents by going to wakes. READ MORE... ALSO,Dagdag-bawas spreading – Marcos...

ALSO: KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES - 3 deaths marked Mar’s journey


APRIL 29 -“L” FOR LIKE? Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo flash the “L” sign at their campaign sortie in Ligao, Albay province in February 2016. RAFFY LERMA 
Sipping instant coffee from a styrofoam cup, Manuel “Mar” Roxas invited some of his staff for a stroll on the beach in Ormoc City after dinner at a roast chicken joint nearby.It was April 11, 2014, and the then interior secretary had just spent the day inspecting the temporary shelters set up for survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), which flattened Eastern Visayas five months earlier. “I really like the sound of waves hitting the beach. It relaxes me,” a noticeably tired Roxas told the Inquirer as he sat on the concrete breakwater. 
At the time, rumors were swirling about President Aquino being set to endorse Roxas as standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the May 9 elections. Which might explain the tons of brickbats Roxas had been getting over the government’s response to Yolanda, whose trail of destruction killed over 6,000 and displaced hundreds of thousands of families. Parrying stinging insinuations that he was using the tragedy to prop up his political ambition, Roxas said he would rather focus on his job than be distracted by the jabs thrown at him. “The President gave me his marching orders. I intend to accomplish them,” he said then. Going personal  Pressed to confirm the buzz of his looming anointment as Mr. Aquino’s successor, Roxas chose to go personal. “Pardon me for saying this, but if I wanted to, my wife Korina and I could just be sailing in Venice or southern France, sipping wine and enjoying life. I could just send my son to the best schools in the world,” said the former investment banker at the New York-based Allen and Co.  READ MORE..RELATED, Roxas to Duterte: You can run but you cannot hide from the truth ...

ALSO: Overseas voters slam poll fraud - Pinoys in 5 countries expose ‘pattern of cheating’


APRIL 25 -Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (middle) and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez (right) discuss the alleged overseas absentee voting irregularities that have taken place in Japan, Dubai and Bangkok. JOEL ZURBANO
DAGUPAN CITY—Voters who turned up in five countries to participate in overseas absentee voting and opposition candidates complained Sunday of “a pattern of cheating” after discrepancies between the vote receipts and actual votes cast heavily favored administration candidates led by the ruling Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II and other candidates tailing in the surveys. In a news conference in Ormoc City, Leyte, vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his cousin senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez bared “a plot of cheating” to deprive them of their votes in the ongoing overseas absentee voting. In a separate news conference in this city, United Nationalist Alliance presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay also complained of similar incidents. Marcos said he has received several reports over the weekend that votes being cast in his favor were being credited to another vice presidential candidate, Senator Gregorio Honasan of UNA, who has been trailing opinion surveys. Marcos, Romualdez and Binay said they were alarmed that the same kind of cheating would mar the May 9 polls when 54-million voters would troop to their poll precincts to cast their votes. Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista simply attributed the vote-shaving to “machine errors.” The voters said Marcos, Romualdez and Binay were among the candidates who lost the votes in Hong Kong, Guam, Dubai, Kuwait and Okinawa, Japan. Marcos and Romualdez raised the alarm when voters from these five countries barraged their offices with reports that they were among those they had voted for but the actual votes cast showed their votes went to their opponents. “Last week, we were just hearing about votes for me not being reflected in my name in Hong Kong but now we have similar reports in Dubai, Kuwait and in Japan. Just this morning, we received another report from Okinawa of the same incident. We are seeing a pattern here,” Marcos said. Romualdez also cited a similar incident in Hong Kong where his votes were also not reflected in the voter’s receipts. “I was told by my coordinator in Hong Kong that there were those who voted for me but did not see my name in the receipts and the Comelec officer just responded ‘Noted’ when told about it,” Romualdez said. READ MORE...RELATED, Binay, Roxas, senatorial bets sign covenant for clean elections...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Pacman surges to 3rd spot in SWS poll


Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao obtained 37 percent of votes from 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters. File Photo

MANILA, MAY 2, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Helen Flores (April 26, 2016 - Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao climbed to third spot in the latest senatorial survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Pacquiao obtained 37 percent of votes from 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters.

The poll was conducted from April 18 to 20 or after his victory against Timothy Bradley Jr. in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 10.

Pacquiao’s ratings dipped following the backlash generated by his statement that compared gays to animals. He previously placed fifth to seventh in the SWS survey.

He is the only candidate from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) who has consistently entered the so-called Magic 12.

Reelectionist Sens. Franklin Drilon of the Liberal Party (LP) and Vicente Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) continued to top the survey with 45 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

Former senator Francis Pangilinan (LP) ranked fourth with 36 percent. He is followed by independents Panfilo Lacson and Juan Miguel Zubiri, who both obtained 34 percent.

Former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros shared the seventh to ninth slots with former justice secretary Leila de Lima and former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief Joel Villanueva with 33 percent each. All of them belong to the LP-led Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III landed in 10th place with 32 percent. He is followed by former senator Richard Gordon (independent) and Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian (NPC) with 30 percent each.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (LP) was outside the Senate winning circle with 27 percent.


PHILSTAR

Duterte survives rape furor; Leni now No. 1 By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 26, 2016 - 12:00am 4 568 googleplus1 0


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte remained the leading presidential candidate for the May 9 elections, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey. The survey also showed administration candidate Leni Robredo leaping past Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the race for vice president. AP file/Leni Robredo Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines - Despite reaping widespread condemnation for his comment about the rape and killing of an Australian missionary, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte remained the leading presidential candidate for the May 9 elections, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey.

Support for Duterte rose to 33 percent in the SWS April 18-20 poll from 27 percent in the March 30-April 2 survey.

The poll was taken in the days after Duterte’s comment at a campaign rally on April 12 had gone viral online.

It showed administration candidate Leni Robredo leaping past Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the race for vice president. But with just two points between them, they remain in a statistical tie for the top spot.

In the presidential race, former frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe remained in second place with 24 percent voter preference – a slight increase from 23 percent.

Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas overtook Vice President Jejomar Binay in third spot with 19 percent from 18 percent in the previous survey.

Binay, standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), ranked fourth with 14 percent, down six points from 20 percent.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago remained last with only two percent voter preference, slightly lower than the three percent she previously posted.

The SWS survey had a total 1,800 respondents, who are validated voters. It has sampling error margins of plus or minus two percentage points.

READ MORE...

Duterte drew criticism over his comments about Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, who was gang-raped and killed by prisoners in a prison riot in Davao City in 1989.

Leni surges

Robredo’s voter preference rose by seven points to 26 percent, similar to Marcos’ 25 percent, which dipped a point from 26 percent in the March 30-April 2 poll.

Former frontrunner Sen. Francis Escudero fell to third place with 18 percent from 21 percent, followed closely by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 16 percent from 13 percent.

Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan II remained at the bottom, garnering five percent and two percent, respectively. Both senators had previous ratings of five percent.

Fight not yet over

Roxas is still confident of victory in the upcoming polls, saying many voters are still undecided or may still change their minds.

“Ang punto ay hindi pa tapos ang laban (The point is the fight is not over yet),” Roxas told reporters after the third presidential debate in Dagupan, Pangasinan last Sunday.

“This is not about popularity. This is about who should run our country – who should be our president,” he added.

Roxas said voters are “still window shopping” and that about 25 percent of them are “still shifting ground.”

“I can see that in the end, our countrymen will say that this is not about entertainment, this is not for amusement. This is a serious matter and the next six years would be put to waste if we choose the wrong person,” he said.

He is hopeful that the last debate would help improve his numbers.

Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, spokesman for the LP-led Koalisyon Daang Matuwid, said Roxas continues to enjoy a strong support base. While Roxas has yet to top any presidential survey, Gutierrez said more Filipinos are coming out to support the LP standard bearer.

Relying on core group

The camp of Binay also downplayed the results of the latest SWS presidential survey, saying the Vice President’s core supporters will help him win in the May 9 polls.

Binay’s campaign spokesman Rico Quicho maintained the true survey will be on Election Day.

“No amount of tweaking of results will refute the strong core support for the Vice President,” Quicho said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Binay said he was the only presidential candidate who offered concrete solutions to the people’s needs during the last presidential debate.

“Last night, seven very real people asked us – the candidates for president – how we can solve their very real problems. Our responses have shown that my opponents are really out of touch with our people,” Binay said.

House-to-house campaign

In a bid to further increase the number of Robredo’s supporters, her children and relatives will fan out to do a house-to-house campaign less than two weeks before the May 9 elections.

After attending several caucuses in Kalinga and Ifugao and the presidential debate in Pangasinan Sunday, Robredo attended the assembly of local officials from Region 3 with President Aquino and Roxas in Clark, Pampanga yesterday.

Robredo’s eldest daughter Aika is scheduled to attend several multi-sectoral meetings in Metro Manila.

After attending their classes, Tricia – Robredo’s second daughter – attended a Mar-Leni event at the Ateneo de Manila University and Jillian, her youngest daughter, represented her mother in a gathering at the Quezon City Circle.

Aika resigned from her work to focus full-time on her mother’s campaign while Tricia, who is taking up medicine, and Jillian, in high school, join the campaign trail when their schedules allow.

Bongbong questions survey

Marcos, on the other hand, questioned yesterday the latest SWS survey showing that his rival Robredo has overtaken him in a span of one week.

“We are quite surprised by the new survey because all other surveys show otherwise. I hope this is not a pattern for cheating,” he told reporters in Borongan, Eastern Samar.

He also stressed that he is not depending on surveys and will just continue to work hard in informing the people about his platform.

The 100,000-strong Fernando Poe Jr. for President Movement (FPJPM) also expressed fear that the SWS is laying the groundwork for the repeat of the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections.

In a statement, Manny Fortes, national chairman of FPJPM, said the release of the SWS survey on the vice presidential race showing Robredo’s rating suddenly jumping six points to gain the lead is reminiscent of the 2004 race between then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and movie icon Fernando Poe Jr.

“If you can still remember, toward the end of the elections, SWS showed a survey that Arroyo was ahead of FPJ. They also had an exit poll showing that Arroyo won over FPJ in the National Capital Region but the election results showed FPJ winning by a wide margin over the re-electionist in the NCR,” he said.

He said the survey is part of the cheating scheme because it makes people believe that Robredo is a strong candidate so they can justify her eventual winning in the polls through vote manipulation. – With Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero, Perseus Echeminada

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Leni: Impossible is now happening ROBREDO TAKES 7-PT LEAP TO TIE MARCOS IN SWS POLL SHARES: 319 VIEW COMMENTS By: Ana Roa, DJ Yap, Marlon Ramos @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Research, Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:01 AM April 26th, 2016


APRIL 26 -LENI’S TURN
After trailing her rivals in the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, shown here with running mate Mar Roxas, gained 7 points in the April 18-20 SWS survey, bringing her to the top spot. LENI ROBREDO OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE

HE IMPOSSIBLE is now within reach for Leni Robredo, the ruling Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate, as she climbs to the top of the leaderboard.

“When I started, at least in the first few months, it seemed so impossible to catch up. But now, it’s happening,” the Camarines Sur congresswoman told reporters in Dagupan City when asked to react to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) voter preference survey.

“I’m very happy. … I’m more encouraged that our labor is bearing fruit,” Robredo told reporters after speaking before some 3,500 barangay officials from Central Luzon at Fontana Convention Center in Clark Field, Pampanga.

She jumped 7 points in the April 18-20 survey from the previous poll by SWS-BusinessWorld, with 26 percent of 1,800 respondents nationwide supporting her.

With a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points, her 26-percent rating put her in a statistical tie with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who got 25 percent.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero slipped to third place with 18 percent, followed closely by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 16 percent.

Lagging far behind were Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan with 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Far cry

The neophyte congresswoman noted that her standing now was a far cry from when she first started last year when she was only at 1 percent versus Escudero, then the front-runner, who was at 44 percent.

The 51-year-old widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said her campaign was putting to good use all the information from the polling firms, especially on which demographic group to target.

“Surveys are very important to us because they guide us on which places to focus on, which areas we are weak in or are strong in. We use them as a guide. We used them even during the time I was at my lowest,” Robredo said.

Low profile

A low-profile lawmaker with no ambition for higher office, Robredo was persuaded by President Aquino and LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas to be the latter’s running mate in September last year, banking on her reputation as a quiet but effective leader and the public’s lingering remembrance of her husband’s legacy.

Roxas and Robredo are running on a platform of continuity that builds upon President Aquino’s signature “daang matuwid” or straight path governance.

Key factors

Robredo, who was thrust into politics after her husband died in a plane crash in August 2012, said she was extremely happy with her surge in the surveys.

Factors that may have helped propel her momentum include a strong performance during the ABS-CBN-organized debate on April 17, as well as key endorsements, including by President Aquino’s celebrity sister, Kris Aquino.

An earlier Pulse Asia survey put Robredo in second place with 23 percent voter support, trailing Marcos by six points.

Though overjoyed by her climb to the top, Robredo said she couldn’t relax yet with the “hairline gap” separating her and Marcos.

vp-survey-0426

“We’re not comfortable with the lead,” Robredo said.

“It’s a hairline gap, but we hope to maintain it in the last 14 days,” she said.

Tied with Robredo, Marcos expressed hope that it was not a pattern for cheating.

Marcos surprised

In a short statement, Marcos, who was in the middle of his campaign leg in the Eastern Visayas, said: “We are quite surprised by the new survey because all other surveys show otherwise. I hope this is not a pattern for cheating.”

Nevertheless, he said his campaign was not depending on surveys.

“We will continue to work harder and remain focused on spreading our message and platform to the Filipino people,” he said.

Threat to institutions

Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science assistant professor at De La Salle University, said a possible Marcos vice presidency and a Rodrigo Duterte presidency may have been seen by some as a threat to democratic institutions.

“The two in tandem could chip away at democratic institutions. Leni is the best balance against a possible and highly likely Duterte presidency,” Heydarian said.

THE SURVEYS: Elections 2016 surveys on presidential, VP candidate preference

Robredo, unlike Marcos, has no skeleton in the closet, and despite her inexperience in politics, Heydarian said, she did well during her first term as congresswoman.

This is on top of her track record in public service as a lawyer working with civil society serving women and children in distress and farmers struggling to own their farms.

Authentic

“Although she is the administration candidate, she seems to be authentic. She doesn’t talk that much about Mar Roxas and daang matuwid. Instead, she uses the Naga-Robredo model of governance which is resonating to the public,” Heydarian said, noting Robredo’s impressive performance in the vice presidential debates.

Robredo has continued the down-to-earth good governance brand of public service of her late husband. When he was Naga mayor, Jessie championed the type of participatory leadership that became known as “tsinelas leadership” for he was often seen in public wearing slippers.

Close contest

Robredo also seems to be benefiting from her party’s political machinery, Heydarian said.

But the political scientist was not counting out Marcos given his formidable machinery and adept communications team.

“This is a close contest between Robredo and Marcos… Leni should not be complacent,” Heydarian said.

While Robredo has risen, Roxas, who has born the brunt of criticisms against the Aquino administration, continues to lag behind his rivals in the presidential race, currently in third place in opinion surveys.

Robredo expressed confidence that Roxas would be able to catch up with his opponents in the ratings game with the help of local leaders of the administration coalition.

“The LP is the only party which has a solid organization to really reach the ground,” she said.

Machinery, volunteers

Besides LP’s mammoth political machinery, Robredo credits her supporters and campaign volunteers who had “tirelessly” accompanied her in political sorties.

She said her team would focus on areas where her awareness was still low, including the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region and Metro Manila.

Her team, she added, was also working hard to maintain her advantage in the Bicol region and in the provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Roxas to Duterte: You can run but you cannot hide from the truth By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated May 2, 2016 - 5:29pm 2 92 googleplus0 0

"His insults to women, his foul language, his curse at the pope may be downplayed but corruption is a big issue to Filipinos,” administration bet Mar Roxas says. AP/File photos MANILA, Philippines — Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II on Monday accused Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of using “legal maneuverings” to hide the truth about his bank accounts.

“You can run Mayor Duterte but you cannot hide from the truth. You can use all the legal maneuverings to sidestep the issue but the truth will come out. The Filipino nation will not go for a liar and a thief,” Roxas said in a press briefing at the LP Balay headquarters in Quezon City.

RELATED: Duterte camp refused to open accounts, Trillanes says

“Obviously Mayor Duterte, you have something to hide. What are you hiding?” he added.

Roxas noted that Duterte once challenged his rivals to sign a waiver on their bank accounts to prove their sincerity in the fight against corruption.

RELATED: Trillanes bares list of Duterte properties

“He and his running mate Sen. Alan Cayetano were the first ones to sign the waiver. That was their propaganda,” the LP standard bearer said.

“Now, they shuttered the process to prevent us from knowing the truth. They used legalities to hinder us from knowing the truth,” he added.

When asked if he thinks the Duterte bank account issue is a game-changer in the upcoming polls, Roxas said: “His insults to women, his foul language, his curse at the pope may be downplayed but corruption is a big issue to Filipinos.”

“When was the last time we had someone who kills indiscriminately while stealing from us? Isn’t it similar to martial law?” he added, referring to Duterte’s admission that he had several criminals and members of drug syndicates killed.


TRIBUNE

Amid rigging raps, SWS disowns new poll Written by Charlie V. Manalo Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00



Amid the slew of surveys appearing lately, another popped up yesterday and was even reported by ABS-CBN newscaster Noli de Castro showing that the presidential battle has tightened anew among the top three candidates but the results of the survey were promptly denied by Social Weather Stations (SWS) to which it was attributed. SWS has this position that if the person who commissioned the survey refuses to acknowlege the survey, then SWS will have no choice but to deny the survey, even if it exists.

The disowned SWS survey, which a source said existed but was privately commissioned by Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, showed PDP-Laban bet Rodrigo Duterte at 27 percent; independent candidate Grace Poe, 26 percent, and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay with 23 percent. She came off second to Sen. Bongbong Marcos in the VP race.

In disowning the survey, SWS said it has not conducted any survey on voter preferences during the period of April 20 to 23 which was indicated in the assailed poll.

SWS noted that the survey it is disowning was “stated in the SMS (text) messages being passed around, reported in some radio programs, and posted in social media.

“Everyone is reminded to rely only on the SWS website at http://www.sws.org.ph for its official media releases and public reports,” it added

The pollster has been lately besieged by allegations of manipulating survey formulas to suit some political ends



Not only has it been found to be manipulating regional representation in its surveys, but doubts have been raised also on its alleged manipulation of survey results.
According to former Ambassador and Press Secretary Rigoberto “Bobi” Tiglao, the SWS has adopted a new approach to its surveys which could be the reason to the sudden drastic decline of the ratings of Binay.

In his column for the Manila Times, Tiglao said SWS’ new polling method allows votes for Binay and vice presidential contender Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – whose ratings have dropped for a reason – to be rejected on grounds, as the SWS itself describes it, of “invalid markings.”

Tiglao said the SWS used the new method, which it had never used before, only in the last two surveys, which showed the ratings of Binay and Marcos drastically dropping.

Cheating dry run

Instead of the standard procedure of the pollster writing down the name of the candidate the respondents say they will vote for (and therefore, accepting these at face value), Tigalo said the new method asks the respondents to mark their choice in a ballot, privately, and put it in a container.

READ MORE...

While this appears to be an appropriate method, in reality Tigalo said it merely mimics how election cheating has been undertaken for decades in this country.



“This is done during the counting of the ballots, with the votes for the candidate who is being cheated declared invalid or are rejected. At least, in the low-tech way of counting ballots in the past, candidates were allowed to put in place their own poll-watchers who could raise a protest every time a certain vote for their candidates was rejected,” Tigalo stated in his column.

In the case of the SWS survey, Tiglao said the counting of the “ballots” takes place in hidden rooms, with no third-party observing the process.

“In its new method of polling, ballots with invalid marks, SWS itself explains, are rejected. It has not explained what qualifies as an invalid” mark, however. It has neither reported its process for counting the ballots nor disclosed which candidates were chosen in such rejected ballots,” noted Tiglao.

While the number of such rejected ballots is not insignificant: seven percent in its March 30 to April 2 survey and five percent in the April 18 to 20 polling, Tiglao said it is rather surprising that when SWS used this new method of polling, and seven percent and five percent of ballots were rejected, Binay’s ratings plunged from 24 percent in early March to 20 percent in late March, and to just 14 percent in the last poll conducted in early April.

“If the seven percentage points of “rejected” ballots in the March 30 – April 2 poll were for Binay, his ratings would not be at 20 percent but at 27 percent, at par with Duterte’s,” Tiglao further wrote.

Pulse uses this same method of SWS, which is why Pulse comes up with low numbers for Binay and Mar Roxas.

The other day, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda reacted to the SWS alleged manipulation of their survey procedure and results.

According to Lacierda, the SWS results released by the polling firms were not accurate in claiming that “area estimates were weighted by the 2016 Comelec data on validated voters to obtain the national estimates.”

He noted that the SWS division among the respondents were 300 for NCR, 600 for Balance of Luzon, 300 for Visayas and 600 for Mindanao.

And as Lacierda was protesting on the alleged manipulation of regional representation, Marcos blasted reports showing administration bet Leni Robredo seizing the lead from him.

Marcos bared that an SWS survey conducted from April 20-23, commissioned by the Palace showed him getting 28 percent approval from the respondents.
The survey showed Robredo tied with Sen. Francis Escudero for second place with 23 percent.

Marcos said he got the copy of survey results from a Palace official who asked not to be identified “because the survey was commissioned not for publication.”

In the presidential race, the survey revealed a tight race among Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte getting 27 percent, down by six points; Senator Grace Poe with 26 percent, up by two points, Binay with 23 percent, up by nine points and Mar Roxas with 18 percent, down by one point.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Web posts show SWS ‘disowned’ poll held Written by Charlie V. Manalo Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00



The mystery of the disowned Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing a tight race among the top three presidential candidates took another twist yesterday as a receipt purportedly issued by SWS made the rounds of social media yesterday.

The receipt was said to be proof that SWS held a survey on April 23 or the last day of the supposedly non-existent survey.

The paper stated: “I am (name) who was interviewed by the Social Weather Stations for a public opinion survey dated April 23, 2016.

The form was signed by an SWS field interviewer.

The result of the survey, which was even reported by ABS-CBN newscaster Noli de Castro, showed the presidential battle has tightened anew among the top bets but it was promptly disowned by SWS the other day.

The survey, which a source said existed but was privately commissioned, showed PDP-Laban bet Rodrigo Duterte at 27 percent; independent candidate Grace Poe, 26 percent, and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay with 23 percent.

Vice Presidential bet Bongbong Marcos also cited the SWS survey which he said was “commissioned by the Palace” showing him getting 28 percent approval from the respondents.

The survey showed Robredo tied with Sen. Francis Escudero for second place with 23 percent.

Marcos said he got the copy of survey results from a Palace official who asked not to be identified “because the survey was commissioned not for publication.”

In the presidential race, the survey revealed a tight race among Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte getting 27 percent, down by six points; Sen.Grace Poe with 26 percent, up by two points, Binay with 23 percent, up by nine points and Mar Roxas with 18 percent, down by one point.

In disowning the supposed survey, SWS said it has not conducted any survey on voter preferences during the period of April 20 to 23, which was indicated in the assailed poll

SWS noted that the survey it is disowning was “stated in the SMS (text) messages being passed around, reported in some radio programs, and posted in social media.

“Everyone is reminded to rely only on the SWS website at http://www.sws.org.ph for its official media releases and public reports,” it added

The pollster has been lately besieged by allegations of manipulating survey formulas to suit some political ends

Not only has it been found to be manipulating regional representation in its surveys, but doubts have been raised also on its alleged manipulation of survey results.

According to former Ambassador and Press Secretary Rigoberto “Bobi” Tiglao, the SWS has adopted a new approach to its surveys which could be the reason to the sudden drastic decline of the ratings of Binay.

In his column for the Manila Times, Tiglao said SWS’s new polling method allows votes for Binay and vice presidential contender Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. – whose ratings have dropped for a reason – to be rejected on grounds, as the SWS itself describes it, of “invalid markings.”

Tiglao said the SWS used the new method, which it had never used before, only in the last two surveys, which showed the ratings of Binay and Marcos drastically dropping.

Instead of the standard procedure of the pollster writing down the name of the candidate the respondents say they will vote for (and therefore, accepting these at face value), Tiglao said the new method asks the respondents to mark their choice in a ballot, privately, and put it in a container.

While this appears to be an appropriate method, in reality Tiglao said it merely mimics how election cheating has been undertaken for decades in this country.

“This is done during the counting of the ballots, with the votes for the candidate who is being cheated declared invalid or are rejected. At least, in the low-tech way of counting ballots in the past, candidates were allowed to put in place their own poll-watchers who could raise a protest every time a certain vote for their candidates was rejected,” Tiglao stated in his column.

SWS using fuzzy math

In the case of the SWS survey, Tiglao said the counting of the “ballots” takes place in hidden rooms, with no third-party observing the process.

“In its new method of polling, ballots with invalid marks, SWS itself explains, are rejected. It has not explained what qualifies as an invalid” mark, however. It has neither reported its process for counting the ballots nor disclosed which candidates were chosen in such rejected ballots,” noted Tiglao.

While the number of such rejected ballots is not insignificant: seven percent in its March 30 to April 2 survey and five percent in the April 18 to 20 polling, Tiglao said it is rather surprising that when SWS used this new method of polling, and seven percent and five percent of ballots were rejected, Binay’s ratings plunged from 24 percent in early March to 20 percent in late March, and to just 14 percent in the last poll conducted in early April.

“If the seven percentage points of “rejected” ballots in the March 30 – April 2 poll were for Binay, his ratings would not be at 20 percent but at 27 percent, at par with Duterte’s,” Tiglao added.

Previously, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also indicated his views in social reacted to the SWS alleged manipulation of their survey procedure and results.


INQUIRER

KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES Jejomar Binay: 24-hour veteran of 60,000 wakes SHARES: 26 VIEW COMMENTS By: Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:00 AM April 28th, 2016


MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY Presidential aspirant Jejomar Binay and running mate Gringo Honasan work the crowd during the launch in July 2015 of the United Nationalist Alliance for the 2016 elections. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

EDITOR’S NOTE:

We are running the profiles of the presidential and vice presidential candidates to offer voters insights into their character, hoping these will help the electorate make an informed choice on May 9.

VICE PRESIDENT Jejomar Binay clearly has a thing for visiting the dead, having gone to 60,000 wakes during the two decades that he was mayor of Makati City.

On average, he would go to eight to 20 wakes every night, Binay told Radyo Inquirer early this month.

“I would go home at 1 or 2 a.m. So I have gone to 60,000 wakes,” Binay said.

Now running for President, Binay still goes to wakes—even on the campaign trail.

In Laguna province last month, Binay and the other candidates of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) took time off from the campaign to visit a wake on a street where they had just staged a rally.


JOEY - Photo courtesy of Joey Salgado

Binay’s communication director, Joey Salgado, who has been working for him since his days at Makati City Hall, said the Vice President “grew up with that tradition” of going to wakes.

“As a mayor, he (Binay) found out it also gave him an opportunity to get instant feedback about city government services,” Salgado told the Inquirer.

Acknowledging Binay’s penchant for going to wakes, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the UNA president, explained that wakes were the places mayors learned about the problems of the villages and they could act on them immediately.

Political points

Undoubtedly, however, mayors score political points with their constituents by going to wakes.

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For Binay, it has been a good training in dealing with people from all walks of life, so that on the campaign trail he can boast that among the presidential aspirants, he is the one who has the most experience as an executive and administrator.


BINAY AND CORY

Binay first served as acting mayor of Makati in 1986, appointed to the post by then President Corazon Aquino right after the Edsa People Power Revolution.

He went on to win the mayoral elections in Makati in 1988, 1992 and 1995. After a brief layover, during which his wife was the mayor of the city, he came back in 2001 and served three terms.

That long experience in public administration has made Binay, 73, adept at dealing with people, including the graying ones who get front-row seats at his rallies.

“Have you eaten?” Binay would sometimes ask women who he would swore to their faces did not look their age.

Ordinary people, masses

Oftentimes in his speeches, too, he would talk about the benefits and privileges he had given to senior citizens in Makati and how he intended to replicate them throughout the country if he were elected President.

“He is very warm and maybe that is what endears him to the masses,” said Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, Binay’s vice presidential running mate.

After nearly three months on the campaign trail with the Vice President, Honasan observed that Binay could “identify with ordinary people” and “articulate issues that resonate in the hearts and minds of the people.”

“And the hearts and minds of the people are what leaders of the nation are always fighting for,” Honasan said.

Corruption charges

And it is on the campaign trail that Binay defends himself from allegations of corruption that have been hounding him since 2014, when the Senate launched an investigation into charges that he pocketed millions of pesos in kickbacks from overpriced infrastructure contracts when he was mayor of Makati.

He says the charges are the handiwork of his political opponents, and that only the courts should handle the accusations against him.

Clearly, however, the accusations have hurt his campaign for Malacañang. After holding a commanding lead for months, he is now running third in the voter preference polls, tied with the candidate whom he trounced at the ballot box in the 2010 vice presidential election, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Loss of lead

Binay does not seem to be fazed by his loss of the lead, as he claims a core support of 35 percent of the electorate. But that figure does not seem to be holding, based on the latest polls.

Lately, with less than two weeks before the vote, Binay has been appealing to crowds at his rallies not to vote for the new front-runner, Rodrigo Duterte, because of the Davao City mayor’s human rights violations record.

Staying power

Despite his age, Binay has not shown signs of losing steam, and Honasan credits the Vice President’s high “energy level” to “his constant interaction with people.”

“It’s as if it’s his lifeblood, politically, psychologically and physically,” Honasan said.

Binay has this “go, go attitude,” which has “contaminated” the party and the campaign organization, Honasan said.

Longtime aide Salgado said the Vice President is a “24-hour” person.

“It comes with being a mayor. As a local executive, you have to be ready to respond anytime to developments in your city. Fire, calamities, bomb threats, hostage-taking, etc,” he added.

Binay is usually up at 6 a.m. and “winds down past 11 p.m.,” he said.

Health rumors

Binay’s health has been a subject of rumors for many years. The Vice President’s daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay, once told reporters that the rumors spiked when her father was seen visiting Makati Medical Center for long hours a few years ago.

Senator Binay said her father was at the hospital often because her brother, dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, had invited their father to hear daily Masses with him there. Her brother was watching over his wife who was then confined at the hospital.

Honasan believes he knows the secret behind Binay’s staying power. Binay, he said, seems to have long set his sights on the presidency.

“I get the feeling he had this in mind. I think he dreamed of becoming President one day and prepared for it,” he said.

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ALSO FROM MANILA TIMES

Dagdag-bawas spreading – Marcos April 28, 2016 12:44 am by JAIME R. PILAPIL, REPORTER


MARCOS

SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to act on complaints from Filipinos overseas voters that the name of the candidate they voted for did not appear on the voting receipts generated by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

“I am losing votes, only me. My votes are credited to others. This is happening to me alone,” Marcos said in an interview in Makati City (Metro Manila).

“The latest complaint was in California where the voter was even scolded by the Board of Election Inspectors(BEI) who told the voter to go home after tearing the voter’s receipt,” the senator added.

He said many similar complaints have reached their camp.

“The moment we receive the complaint, we approach the person and assist him in submitting the complaint to the Comelec,” according to Marcos.

So far, incidents of dagdag-bawas (vote padding-vote shaving) have been reported in Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuwait, Okinawa (Japan) and the United States.
Many incidents were also posted on social media, particularly on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Sandro Marcos, 22, eldest son of the vice presidential aspirant, said he created a Snapshot account for his father so he could monitor the social media postings.

The Marcoses are avid followers of social media trends.

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“I feel I am still part of it,” the elder Marcos told social media reporters. He said he was the author of the law that created the Youth Commission.

At the same time, the senator pushed for a Magna Carta for Call Center Workers as he cited the many labor and health issues facing them.

With more than one million call center agents in the country, Marcos said there is a need to address their working conditions to make sure these are in line with international labor standards.

“There are reports that many of our workers in the call center industry do not get proper compensation that is based on international standards. There is need for a specific body to make sure that they are not discriminated upon,” he added.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had filed Senate Bill 57 or the Magna Carta for Call Center Workers to enforce the right of call center workers to organize and establish regulations to ensure their welfare.

Marcos said there is also a need to look into various health issues being faced by call center workers.

According to a study by the International Labor Organization, call center workers face serious health risks that include high blood pressure, sleep disorders, diabetes and obesity.

“This is because call center workers work long hours and usually during the graveyard shift. They spend most of their time sitting down in a high-pressure environment. Such situation puts a toll on their health and we have to protect them,” Marcos said.

3 Responses to Dagdag-bawas spreading – Marcos
Catalino Garcia says:
April 28, 2016 at 8:52 am
No wonder Roxas and Leni are so confident in winning the elections. Ito ba ang Daang Matuwid. Shame shame shame
Reply
Roselio Palma says:
April 28, 2016 at 8:45 am
Marcos Jr. should be educated about the real truth in running a business if he himself has the brain. This London educated a son and raised by the former dictator who does not abide by the law and the constitution declared Martial Law to perpetuate himself in power for life. If Marcos Sr, was not overthrown by the FILIPINO People with the help of Divine Intervention his family would still be the Ultimate Dynasty rulers of the Philippines today. The very reasons why the Philippines gets the call center businesses is they cut themselves out of competitions by lowering their cost to do business, that offers substandard wages no or very minimal health benefits for the employees. If the Philippine Call Centers or (BPO) gives premium salaries and benefits do you think Philippines will get the business? you tell me McCoy Jr. Just like your deceased father you are twisting the facts and poisons the minds of the naive FLIPS to influence their minds to vote for you.You can’t hide your head in the sands like an Ostrich fool and pretend nothing has happened before. McCoy Jr. you may pretend to have a sharp and sweet tongue fooling you fellow FLIPs, but not all of the FLIPs will fall into your sweetened trap ok dookie!
Reply
Rolly parado says:
April 28, 2016 at 5:51 am
comelec should take this charges seriously before things get out of control. Vote buying is rampat and comelec seems to encourage this  2 poonts and counting :(


INQUIRER

KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES 3 deaths marked Mar’s journey SHARES: 8679 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marlon Ramos @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:52 AM April 29th, 2016


“L” FOR LIKE? Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo flash the “L” sign at their campaign sortie in Ligao, Albay province in February 2016. RAFFY LERMA

Sipping instant coffee from a styrofoam cup, Manuel “Mar” Roxas invited some of his staff for a stroll on the beach in Ormoc City after dinner at a roast chicken joint nearby.

It was April 11, 2014, and the then interior secretary had just spent the day inspecting the temporary shelters set up for survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), which flattened Eastern Visayas five months earlier.

“I really like the sound of waves hitting the beach. It relaxes me,” a noticeably tired Roxas told the Inquirer as he sat on the concrete breakwater.

At the time, rumors were swirling about President Aquino being set to endorse Roxas as standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the May 9 elections.

Which might explain the tons of brickbats Roxas had been getting over the government’s response to Yolanda, whose trail of destruction killed over 6,000 and displaced hundreds of thousands of families.

Parrying stinging insinuations that he was using the tragedy to prop up his political ambition, Roxas said he would rather focus on his job than be distracted by the jabs thrown at him.

“The President gave me his marching orders. I intend to accomplish them,” he said then.

Going personal
Pressed to confirm the buzz of his looming anointment as Mr. Aquino’s successor, Roxas chose to go personal.

“Pardon me for saying this, but if I wanted to, my wife Korina and I could just be sailing in Venice or southern France, sipping wine and enjoying life. I could just send my son to the best schools in the world,” said the former investment banker at the New York-based Allen and Co.

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“You may choose not to believe it, but I’m here not for my personal happiness,” Roxas said. “You know, you get to a point in your life when you realize there’s more to life than just enjoying personal success. That’s how I felt when I entered government service. That’s exactly how I feel now.”

Royalty

Born to the landed Araneta clan of Negros and the Roxas political royalty of Capiz, the reticent Roxas has often been perceived as elitist and a snob, a perception that his son Paolo from a previous relationship readily dismissed.

“It’s far from reality,” said Paolo Roxas. “Why would you invest 23 years of life and forego your career and big money in New York to come back and follow the footsteps of your brother (Dinggoy) in politics?” The public should realize that “there’s a cause in this line of work and commitment,” he added.

“For me, seeking higher office is a question of intentions and motivations. My father isn’t in this for personal gain or to enrich himself and his family. He’s been there during the lowest of the lows and the darkest of the dark,” the younger Roxas said.

Three deaths

Indeed, death seemed to hound Roxas’ 23-year career in public service, and marked periods of transition in his life.

The third-generation politician’s entry into politics was prompted by the untimely death of his younger brother, the late Capiz Rep. Gerardo Manuel “Dinggoy” Roxas Jr., who succumbed to colon cancer in April 1993.

The younger Roxas was said to be the politician in the family and was being primed to be the presidential candidate of the party founded by his grandfather, the late President Manuel Roxas.

His brother’s death could have paved Mar Roxas’ road to Malacañang had not another death intervened: that of former President Corazon Aquino, whose 2009 demise led to popular calls for her son, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, to continue her legacy in the 2010 elections.

Roxas readily gave way to his friend, assured that he could win the vice presidential post considering his seemingly insurmountable lead in preelection surveys. Instead, he had to endure a crushing defeat to now Vice President Jejomar Binay, who won by a slim margin of votes.

Emotional guy

After a year in hibernation, Roxas was tapped to handle the transportation portfolio. It turned out to be a brief stint as he had to take on another hat because of yet another death: that of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who perished in a tragic plane crash off Masbate in 2012.

Beyond the series of tragedies that have so far defined his political career, people have asked: who is Mar Roxas and does he deserve to become the 16th President of the Republic?

While ardent supporters view him as their best bet to continue President Aquino’s Daang Matuwid (straight path) platform, having been untouched by any tinge of corruption, critics consider him too uptight and lacking in charisma to be an effective leader.

“He’s actually an emotional guy,” Paolo countered. The 22-year-old recalled how Roxas once came home from the campaign trail bearing portable audio speakers for him and several cousins. Most unexpectedly, his father also gave him a poem he had written.

Stern and kind

The poem told of Roxas’ regret in missing moments he could have spent with his son and his cousins because of his campaign, and ended with words of reassurance that despite his hectic schedule, this father always had his son in mind.

“He is equal parts stern and kind,” Paolo said. “If he believes something is in my interest, he puts his foot down and makes sure I do it,” said this Yale economics student who took a leave of absence from school to help in his father’s campaign.

Three years ago, his father egged him to learn Mandarin. He was also encouraged to play golf and try outdoor camping, Paolo said.

Good heart

While he believes that his father’s unblemished record as a public official makes him the best candidate for the job, Paolo said Roxas’ passion to “make other people want to be better” sets him apart from other politicians.

Roxas’ wife, popular broadcast-journalist Korina Sanchez, described her husband’s “genuinely good heart” as the best argument for voting him to Malacañang despite his lackluster ratings in voter preference surveys.

No. 1 fan



“Forgive me for saying it, but I’m his wife and I’m his No. 1 fan,” Sanchez said with a laugh. “The errors or the missteps and miscalculations are all but human.

What’s important is there’s no larceny in your heart and you have the best interest of people in mind.”

Contrary to detractors’ claims that the couple was just “lusting for power,” Sanchez said she’d rather forego a life in politics “because I would have the most blissful life without all of these.”

And no, her husband isn’t “bland and boring,” as his critics have contended, Sanchez said. “I’m a very vivacious person so I won’t be with somebody who’s very boring, believe me,” she added.

With less than two weeks before the May 9 balloting, can her husband still pull off a surprise and win?

Said Sanchez: “I think the Philippines will get the President it deserves. The leader is a reflection of the people. The leader they choose will determine who the Filipinos are.”

‘Pagbubugsay’

Roxas apparently thinks similarly, as he compared the presidency to pagbubugsay, the Visayan word for rowing a boat. “As President, you must lead the people in rowing the boat. But you should do it together and at the same time so you’d be going toward the same direction,” he said.

“We have already set out to sea. It’s up to Filipino voters if they want us to row farther together,” the presidential candidate added.


MANILA STANDARD

Overseas voters slam poll fraud - Pinoys in 5 countries expose ‘pattern of cheating’ posted April 25, 2016 at 12:01 am by The Standard

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (middle) and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez (right) discuss the alleged overseas absentee voting irregularities that have taken place in Japan, Dubai and Bangkok. JOEL ZURBANO

DAGUPAN CITY—Voters who turned up in five countries to participate in overseas absentee voting and opposition candidates complained Sunday of “a pattern of cheating” after discrepancies between the vote receipts and actual votes cast heavily favored administration candidates led by the ruling Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II and other candidates tailing in the surveys.

In a news conference in Ormoc City, Leyte, vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his cousin senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez bared “a plot of cheating” to deprive them of their votes in the ongoing overseas absentee voting.

In a separate news conference in this city, United Nationalist Alliance presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay also complained of similar incidents.

Marcos said he has received several reports over the weekend that votes being cast in his favor were being credited to another vice presidential candidate, Senator Gregorio Honasan of UNA, who has been trailing opinion surveys.

Marcos, Romualdez and Binay said they were alarmed that the same kind of cheating would mar the May 9 polls when 54-million voters would troop to their poll precincts to cast their votes.

Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista simply attributed the vote-shaving to “machine errors.”

The voters said Marcos, Romualdez and Binay were among the candidates who lost the votes in Hong Kong, Guam, Dubai, Kuwait and Okinawa, Japan.

Marcos and Romualdez raised the alarm when voters from these five countries barraged their offices with reports that they were among those they had voted for but the actual votes cast showed their votes went to their opponents.

“Last week, we were just hearing about votes for me not being reflected in my name in Hong Kong but now we have similar reports in Dubai, Kuwait and in Japan. Just this morning, we received another report from Okinawa of the same incident. We are seeing a pattern here,” Marcos said.

Romualdez also cited a similar incident in Hong Kong where his votes were also not reflected in the voter’s receipts.


ROMUALDEZ

“I was told by my coordinator in Hong Kong that there were those who voted for me but did not see my name in the receipts and the Comelec officer just responded ‘Noted’ when told about it,” Romualdez said.

READ MORE...

Marcos called the attention of the Comelec and service provider Smartmatic to immediately investigate the incidents and not dismiss them outright.

“Comelec and Smartmatic should investigate this immediately because this does not reflect well on the credibility of the elections. We are very alarmed and very upset about these reports and the Comelec should not take this sitting down,” Marcos said.

Marcos warned that such vote discrepancies could happen on a larger scale in the polls on May 9.

Andresa Amba, who is from Butuan in Mindanao and an overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong, said she voted on April 20 and questioned the Comelec board of canvassers when the name of Romualdez for senator did not reflect on the voter’s receipt.

“I was surprised to see Romualdez’s name is gone. Of the 12 candidates I have voted for, only Romualdez’s name was missing and it was replaced by another senatorial candidate [Bayan Muna Rep.] Neri Colmenares. I did not vote for Colmenares. I voted for Martin Romualdez,” Amba told The Standard.

Amba said she tried to ask the poll officials and was told that her complaint has been “noted.”

On April 21, Amba, 56, said she flew to Butuan in Mindanao to attend a big event for her pastor Apollo Quiboloy and reported the matter to him.

Amba said she decided to go on air on radio dzAR, to alert Filipino voters.

“The dzAR anchor tried to reach Bautista through a phone patch and Bautista told me it must have been caused by machine error,” Amba said.

Amba said Bautista downplayed the vote shaving and claimed Amba must have failed to follow the instructions properly like how to shade the portion that would signify her vote for a particular candidate.

She said Bautista promised to look into the incident and if indeed the error was due to a “computer glitch.”

“I am not sure what to do with it? I am thinking if I should file a complaint before the Comelec. My priority now is to alert the electorate about my experience. I just hope the Comelec can fix the problem,” Amba said.

“I still wanted my vote for Romualdez counted for Romualdez. I wanted him to be senator. That’s why I voted for him. It makes me angry and disappointed that they would simply tell me I was entitled to vote only once and I could not do anything about the lost vote for Romualdez. I did vote but my vote was shaved at the expense of Romualdez. It was also at my expense because I felt cheated,” Amba said.

“This makes the whole electoral process vulnerable and it will reflect very badly on the credibility of the elections,” Marcos said.

Marcos said one of the reports that reached him came from a sibling of a Smartmatic employee.

“These reports are coming from different sources and in different places. If this was just one incident, we could dismiss this as a mere isolated case or a machine glitch but they are happening in places very far apart. This is very, very disturbing and the Comelec and Smartmatic should also be concerned about this,” Marcos said.

The senator also said they have already written the Comelec about the report that took place in Hong Kong last week where an overseas Filipino worker was caught on video complaining that her vote for Marcos went to Honasan in her voter’s receipt.

Marcos said when the voter told the election officer about it, the OFW from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte was told that she could not vote anymore because there is an existing one ballot, one voter policy.

Marcos said they have also informed the camp of Honasan about the matter and said they are also looking into it.

“Senator Honasan is a very honest man and I know that he would not like that votes not for him are being given to him,” Marcos said.

Marcos reiterated his call for the Comelec to lay down the rules in cases where there were discrepancies in the vote receipts from the actual votes cast.

“If a voter says the content of the receipt is wrong, what shall he or she do? How will he or she make the complaint? What’s the procedure? The Comelec needs to take steps so that when voters go to their precincts, they will know what to do when this kind of problem surfaces,” he said.

“This is a very serious matter... How can we be sure that it will not happen on May 9? It is therefore important that the Comelec releases clear guidelines if the same problem occurs on Election Day,” Marcos said.

In a news conference here, Binay said his lawyers already petitioned the Comelec to explain the irregularities that figured in overseas absentee voting.


BINAY

Binay also said the Comelec should look into the possibility that the glitches have something to do with the recent hacking of Comelec’s voters’ database.

Congressional candidate Danilo Suarez, UNA campaign manager, said similar reports were also received by UNA from Hong Kong, Guam and Okinawa.

In the case of Binay, the vote was replaced with Roxas while Marcos’ name was replaced with Honasan, Binay’s running mate.

“That is really alarming. The Comelec has a lot of explaining to do,” Suarez said.

Binay added that it was worrisome that the Comelec has been silent about the reported discrepancies.

“Until now, they have no explanation of this, and how they were hacked. I have not heard them say anything to clear up what happened in Hong Kong,” Binay said in Filipino.

Last week, the Marcos camp asked Bautista to take a serious look into reported discrepancies between actual votes on the ballot and the printed voters’ receipts in the OAV in Hong Kong.

Marcos said that instead of threatening to file election offense charges against voters who would make petty complaints on supposed discrepancies, the poll body should conduct a thorough investigation to establish the truth.

In some of these reports, the voter receipt showed no vote for president when in the physical ballot it was actually shaded and voted for, while other reports said the voter receipt showed a candidate’s name different from the one actually voted for in the physical ballot.

“Unless we can assure our people that no irregularities tainted the elections there would always be a cloud of doubt on the mandate of the elected officials and this would be detrimental to the interest of the entire Filipino nation,” Marcos warned. With Joel E. Zurbano

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR...

Binay, Roxas, senatorial bets sign covenant for clean elections By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated May 2, 2016 - 4:18pm 4 47 googleplus0 0


In this May 2, 2016 photo, presidential candidates Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay and Manuel "Mar" Roxas II faced the members of the media after signing the covenant for T.R.U.T.H. at the Manila Cathedral. Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

MANILA, Philippines – Exactly a week before elections, some presidential and senatorial bets on Monday signed the covenant for “Truthful, Responsible, Upright, Transparent, and Honest” (T.R.U.T.H.) elections at the Manila Cathedral.

During the signing, only presidential candidates Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay attended while vice presidential bet Camarines Sur. Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo sent her representative Gail Robredo to sign on her behalf.

Fifteen senators were present to sign the covenant. These were Liberal Party bets - former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, former PhilHealth Director Risa Hontiveros and Cresencio Paez; United Nationalist Alliance’s Princess Jacel Kiram, Martin Romualdez, Getulio Napeñas and Rey Langit; Partido Galing at Puso candidates Vice Mayor Isko Domagoso, Rep. Roman Romulo and Lorna Kapunan; independent candidates - former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan, Susan Ople, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, former Metro Manila Development Authority chief Francis Tolentino and Diosdado Valeroso.

The TRUTH covenant was signed by the candidates as a pledge to “aggregate truthful, responsible, upright, transparent, and honest elections in the 2016 synchronized national and local polls. The signing was witnessed by representatives of the Catholic church, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Commission on Elections Chair Juan Andres Bautista, Philippine National Police Chief Ricardo Marquez, the media and a number of supporters.

“We pledge to support campaigns that aim to motivate the Filipino people to take responsibility for the country by participating in the polls,” a portion of the covenant read.

“We also exert great effort and exhaust all means to encourage every Filipino to responsibly exercise their right to suffrage,” it added.

The signed covenant also served as the candidate’s commitment to assure peaceful remaining days of campaign and elections.

“We pledge to strongly acknowledge our relatives, friends, followers and supporters to decease producing violence deceit, fraud and other unfair and dishonest practices,” the covenant read.

“We will uphold the credibility and integrity of the remaining campaign period and election process and the dignity of the Filipino people,” it added.

Prior to the signing of the covenant, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle presided a Mass sending a message that the election is a blessing for the country and its people.

1234567 Manila Archbishop presided a Mass prior to the candidates' signing of the covenant for T.R.U.T.H. Photos by Philstar.com/Rosette Adel


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