Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Metro Manila Rejected Gloria Arroyo's TU candidates

Gloria Arroyo’s T.U.T.A. political debacle Metro Manila is considered as a popular mandate to reject her illegitimate government. Exit plan is her next option.

Gloria, TU bets thumped in NCR exit polls, 9-2-1


Metro Manilans gave President Arroyo and her Team Unity (TU) senatorial candidates a deep drubbing by giving the anti-administration candidates a landslide win, with nine Genuine Opposition (GO) bets and two independent candidates dominating the Senate race in Metro Manila, with only one TU bet, reelectionist Sen. Joker Arroyo, squeaking into the Senate circle, an exit poll conducted by Pulse Asia for ABS-CBN network and broadcast over the same network yesterday morning showed.

But the Pulse Asia nationwide exit polls that came in the evening, however, showed GO candidate Alan Cayetano and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III outside the circle, while Ralph Recto, Edgardo Angara and Juan Miguel Zubiri got into the 12-man survey slate.

Six GO candidates, four TU bets and two independents are said to win the top 12 slots in the Senate race, results of the 2007 ABS-CBN Pulse Asia nationwide exit polls showed.

GO candidate Loren Legarda topped the exit poll with 58.5 percent of votes, followed by Francis “Chiz” Escudero (53.3 percent), From page 1

Manuel Villar Jr. (49.8 percent) and Panfilo Lacson (46.4 percent).

Independent candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan placed fifth in the exit poll with 44.6 percent of votes, followed by GO’s Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III (42.6 percent), TU’s Angara (41.1 percent), Joker Arroyo (36.8 percent) and GO’s Antonio Trillanes IV (35.4 percent).

TU’s Zubiri placed 10th in the exit poll with 34.9 percent of the vote. Independent candidate Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan (34.6 percent) and TU’s Ralph Recto (34.3 percent) rounded out the last two slots.

Pulse Asia said there is a statistical chance that the last four candidates on the list could be replaced by other senatorial bets.

Cayetano placed 13th on the list with 31 percent of votes, followed by TU’s Prospero Pichay Jr. (30.4 percent), GO’s Pimentel (28.5 percent), Sonia Roco (28.4 percent) and TU’s Michael Defensor (28.2 percent) and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III (26.2 percent).

Pulse Asia Executive Director Ana Tabunda said the survey firm targeted 10,620 completed response forms from 79 provinces less than a day after polling precincts closed.

She said Pulse Asia chose 15 respondents per precinct in urban districts and 12 respondents per precinct in rural districts. Once a house is randomly chosen, the interviewer randomly selects a voter. Indelible ink on the voter’s finger will indicate that he or she has voted. If he or she is registered and did not vote, the interview would still push through.

The results were encoded in a software program made by Taylor Nielsen Software (TNS) after which a group of statisticians will then analyze the results for accuracy and completion, the ABS-CBN website reported.

Earlier, for the NCR region, Five GO candidates topped the exit poll in NCR led by Escudero with 77.4 percent of votes, Legarda with 71.2 percent, Lacson at 3-4 ranking with 63.3 percent, Villar” at 3-5 ranking with 60.2 percent and Noynoy Aquino at 4-7 ranking with 60.2 percent.

Pangilinan was at 5-7 ranking with 52.9 percent, closely followed by GO’s Trillanes with the same same ranking, with 52.6 percent of the vote. Alan Cayetano is at 8-11 ranking with 45.7 percent, followed by independent candidate Gregorio Honasan at the same ranking with 45.1 percent.

TU bet Joker Arroyo got the 8-12 ranking with 43.9 percent, along with Roco with 43 percent and GO’s Pimentel had the 10-15 ranking, with 39.1 percent.

TU campaign manager Tonypet Albano scored the media counts, as well as the Pulse Asia Metro Manila exit polls, accusing the media of skewing the count to set a GO victory trend, claiming that media have allowed themselves to be used by the opposition, to set the stage for GO claims of massive fraud when the Mindanao and Visayas vote comes in and TU candidates will be in the majority.

But the other media quick counts, conducted by STI and AMA, as well as the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) also showed similar results.

But Malacañang and Albano stuck to their claim that the counts were skewed to favor the opposition.

TU campaign spokesman Ace Durano, in a press conference held yesterday claimed that the TU bets are doing relatively well, doing better than the surveys say.

He claimed that the results of a quick-count of 784 precincts across the country, five TU candidates have pulled ahead of the senatorial race, as of 11:30 AM yesterday. The TU candidates, Durano said, are Joker Arroyo, in 7 th place, Angara, in 8th, Zubiri, 9 th, Recto, 10 th and Mike Defensor, in 12 th palce.

“We still have to wait for the final results. But the results of the quick-count provide a more accurate picture, since the 784 precincts were randomly picked across the nation,” he said.

While the most of vote-leading senatoriables belong to the Genuine Opposition party, some precincts in the country have posted 12-0 results in favor of TU. These precincts belong to Northern Samar, Bohol, Maguindanao, Zamboanga Sibugay, and the ARMM, he claimed.

Durano added that the party has not received the results from the ‘Club 56’, which composes provinces which delivered 12-0 results in the last mid-term elections, in favor of the party.

“These pro-TU results “balance out the overwhelming show of opposition candidates”, according to Durano. He also disclosed that the party is reasonably expecting to fill six to eight of the 12 seats vacant in the Senate.

But to an administration senator, it was his view that the GO senatorial candidates’ lead in the race is proof of a “protest vote” against Mrs. Arroyo and her administration.

Sen. Richard Gordon said the initial tally showing opposition dominance is a clear manifestation of that protest vote against the administration.

Others who ran under Mrs. Arroyo’s TU ticket, “suffered” for advocating unpopular measures of the administration and their “association” with Malacananghe added.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson noted the same during a television interview pointing out the strong standing shown by their fellow GO candidate, Antonio Trillanes IV, that surprised a number of people.

In a radio interview, Gordon who is a member of the administration bloc in the Senate, he was no longer surprised to hear of the lead in the polls of GO candidates.

The senator even relayed the current situation in Olongapo City where he hails from, where opposition candidates not only in the senatorial race but also in the local polls are leading, adding that those from the administration party are the ones reported to be sowing chaos in his home province.

“Obviously the people are not pleased with the Arroyo administration. They are not happy anymore with what’s been happening (in the GMA government),” he said.

Gordon, chair of the Senate committees on government corporations and constitutional amendments and electoral reforms, also pointed out that the administration’s battlecry over on supposed booming financial outlook of the country proved ineffective in luring voters’ support.

“People are unhappy because what she says about economic gains is not felt by the people,” he said in a mix of Tagalog and English.

Gordon also expressed belief that the favorable votes gathered by the opposition even in the local level, may be the ill-effects of the so-called “Hello Garci” scandal.

“The results of these elections are an indication that people want changes,” he said.

Gordon said the standing in the polls of TU’s Ralph Recto showed a possible public backlash on the impact created by the passage of the two percentage increase in the expanded value-added tax (e-VAT) that his colleague sponsored in the Senate. “There was an impact of the e-VAT on the votes, and Recto is identified with the administration,” he said.

Lacson attributed the good standing in the polls of Trillanes to the court’s grant of interviews as this made more people aware not only of his candidacy but his advocacy as well.

“Three to four weeks ago, he was being written off in the surveys. But when he was allowed by the court to have access to media, he had the opportunity to articulate his sentiments. He is known to be against (Mrs. Arrroyo). I think it is he who symbolizes the strongest protest vote against this administration,” Lacson said. Angie M. Rosales, Charlie Manalo, Jojo Arazas, Vanessa Valles and Tribune wires

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