Dec 232014

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) has ceased looking at surveys as a source of vindication for its presumptive standard bearer, Vice President Jejomar Binsay, amid the corruption controversies that have been hounding him in recent months.

In a phone interview Tuesday, UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said Binay will remain focused on his job of providing affordable housing for Filipino familieis and attending to the concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) regardless of his standing in voter preference surveys.

The latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey published Monday in Business World showed Binay remained the top contender for the president, with 37 percent of the respondents saying he should succeed President Benigno Aquino III in 2016.

The poll, which was taken from November 27 to December 1, asked respondents, “Who do you think are the good leaders who should succeed Pres. [Benigno III] Aquino as president? You may give up to three names.”

Next to Binay, 21 percent believe Senator Grace Poe should be the next president while 19 percent named Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, the Liberal Party’s (LP) presumptive standard-bearer.

When asked if the survey results is a vindication for Binay, Tiangco said: “We’ve stopped looking at it that way. Basta si VP Binay, focused sa kanyang trabaho no matter what his ratings are.”

Binay has been hounded by allegations he was involved in the alleged overpricing of certain government projects when he was Makati City mayor, and of keeping secret bank accounts and owning properties registered under the names of dummies. 

The Vice President has denied the allegations, saying they are part of a well-funded smear campaign intended to destroy his credibility ahead of the 2016 elections.

Indicator of strong popularity

But while Tiangco would rather not dwell on poll numbers, Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian believes the SWS survey results “is a vindication of sorts” for the Vice President.

This only means that he has a solid base among the masses and more and more Filipinos are convinced that the allegations on the vice president are devoid of truth and politically motivated,” he said in a statement.

The Valenzuela City lawmaker said the fact that Binay was chosen by the respondents as the best leader to succeed Aquino off the top of their heads “is an indicator of VP Binay’s strong popularity among the people, despite the continuous propaganda onslaught against his person and his family.”

Gatchalian, who is currently a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) allied with the administration, is reportedly planning to run as senator under UNA in 2016. 

LP chair for political affairs Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, however, believes Binay will be unable to enjoy his high ratings for long.

“The corruption charges have not yet [sunk] in. Inevitably, next year, [they willl affect] the ratings of VP Binay,” he said in a text message. —NB, GMA News

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