GMA FIRMS UP LEAD IN WESTERN VISAYAS AS FPJ SUPPORT DWINDLES

MANILA,  April 23, 2004
 
(STAR)
President Arroyo has consolidated her hold on the vote-rich Western Visayas region as she posted a 9.5 percentage point lead over her main rival, Fernando Poe, Jr.

A region-wide survey of voter preference conducted by the Makati-based Interlink Media Services showed Mrs. Arroyo was preferred by 37.5 percent of Visayas voters over the 28 percent obtained by Poe.

In the vice presidential race, Poe’s running mate Sen. Loren Legarda got 48 percent of votes while Sen. Noli de Castro took only 43.5 percent.

The survey, conducted from April 6 to 14, involved 1,700 respondents and covered the provinces of Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Guimaras, Aklan, Capiz and Antique.

Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City said the support of local leaders, including those running under the administration party, pushed Mrs. Arroyo to the top. He added that this is a clear indication that bets for local government posts are pushing for the President as they campaign for their own election.

Treñas, who is seeking re-election, is the city chairman of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party.

Earlier this week, Pulse Asia released its own nationwide survey, where Mrs. Arroyo led by three percentage points, with 34 percent of votes against Poe’s 31 percent. The results, according to Treñas, have consistently shown a rising support for Arroyo and a declining popularity for Poe.

In an earlier Interlinks regional survey conducted between March 16 and 30, Mrs. Arroyo garnered 36.5 percent of the votes against Poe’s 29 percent, a pattern consistent with Pulse Asia. The President gained one percentage point while Poe dropped one percent.

According to Treñas, in Poe’s last campaign sortie in Iloilo, he badgered a reporter of a national TV network to tears because he thought he was being upstaged by the reporter. He was later denounced and condemned by local media, whose representatives brought their protest of Poe’s boorish behavior to the National Press Club. The act has had a negative impact on Poe’s campaign.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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