ARROYO TOPS ATENEO MOCK POLLS
 
DAVAO CITY, March 15, 2004
 
(STAR) President Arroyo is set to arrive here today buoyed by the news that she topped the mock polls held at the Ateneo de Davao last Saturday while her chief rival, Fernando Poe Jr., placed fourth.

Mrs. Arroyo was the only presidential candidate who garnered more than a thousand votes out of 2,552 students polled during the mock elections.

The President received 50.71 percent of the votes with former education secretary Raul Roco a far second with only 622 votes. Sen. Panfilo Lacson had 421 votes while movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. got 137 votes and evangelist Eddie Villanueva 78.

In the vice presidential race, Mrs. Arroyo’s runningmate Sen. Noli de Castro was another runaway winner with 59.03 percent of the votes cast. His 1,549 votes were nearly double the 857 votes garnered by Sen. Loren Legarda, Poe’s runningmate.

"This demonstrates that the President is the clear choice of our young voters in Davao," Mrs. Arroyo’s official campaign spokesman Michael Defensor said.

"Mock elections are, after all, a reflection of the sentiments of the voters participating in the straw vote," he added.

Defensor noted that the students clearly chose competence over mere name recall.

"They effectively acknowledged the good job that Mrs. Arroyo has done in the short time that she occupied the presidency. I think the students saw how she was able to turn the economy around, how she was able to pursue efforts to maintain peace and order, political stability and create more jobs," he said.

The results of the mock polls came at no better time because Mrs. Arroyo was scheduled to grace today’s commemoration of Araw ng Davao.

"This is a most fitting welcome for the President from the youth of Davao when she arrives for her visit today," Defensor


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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