[divider /]

Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the May 2019 Senatorial Elections April 2019 Pulso ng Bayan Pre-Electoral national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from April 10 – 14, 2019 using face-to-face interviews. In the weeks leading up to the fieldwork for this survey and during the actual conduct of the interviews, the following local and international developments dominated the headlines:

In the weeks leading up to the survey period, the following developments preoccupied Filipinos:

1. The killing of 14 farmers in Negros Oriental on 30 March 2019 who, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), were suspected members of the Special Bipartisan Unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) who resisted arrest during the serving of search warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives; a fact-finding investigation conducted by 21 human rights and farmers’ organizations concluded that the farmers were “summarily executed” and fabricated evidence were planted in their homes; Malacañang said the families of the victims should file charges against the police officers involved in the operations;

2. The continuing tension in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines and China, with the former issuing a public rebuke of the presence of Chinese fishing vessels near territories occupied by the Philippines in the area; the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said such presence is illegal as it violates Philippine sovereignty and called on the Chinese government to abide by the agreement between President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping for their countries to exercise self-restraint in relation to activities in the disputed areas; the President also stated that he would not allow the Chinese to occupy Pag-asa Island even though the Philippines and China have friendly ties;

3. The start of the one-month period for overseas absentee voting (OAV) on 13 April 2019, with 1.8 million Filipino registered voters who are working or living abroad expected to cast their ballots; most overseas registered voters are based in Saudi Arabia, the United States (US), and Hong Kong;

4. The rotational brownouts that hit certain areas in Luzon in the days before Holy Week; earlier, Bayan Muna Chairperson Neri Colmenares and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called for an investigation of the simultaneous shutdowns involving five (5) power plants in Luzon because these could be done on purpose to create an artificial power shortage to justify a hike in electricity rates; the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announced an increase in its overall electricity rate in April 2019 due to a higher generation charge;

5. The fact-finding probe initiated by the Supreme Court (SC) to look into the alleged inclusion of unnamed judges in the narco list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA); the PDEA has already rejected the SC’s request for the names of the judges included in the said new list because the names are still being revalidated by concerned law enforcement agencies;

6. The seizure of P 254.4 M worth of cocaine bricks from the waters off Burgos, Surigao del Norte on 07 April 2019; PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said this and other similar incidents in Davao Oriental, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat and Siargao Islands since March 2019 might indicate that the Philippines is being used by international drug rings as a transshipment point for cocaine;

7. The order issued by the Supreme Court (SC) for the Solicitor General to submit the police reports on the killings of more than 4,000 individuals during police operations conducted from 01 July 2016 to 30 November 2017; the order was made in connection with a writ  of amparo petition filed in 2017 by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) and a petition questioning the constitutionality of Oplan Tokhang submitted by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG);

8. The signing by President Duterte of a law dividing Palawan into three (3) separate provinces, namely, Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur; these provinces will have their own governor, vice-governor, and provincial board members who will be elected for the first time in May 2022 once the residents in the affected areas approve the creation of these provinces during a plebiscite scheduled on 11 May 2020;

9. The President’s reaction to a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) concerning his family’s wealth, which he said he will explain in due time; the report looked into the increase in the incomes of President Duterte and his children, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and former Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte, while they were in office; the President added that what he and his children earn outside of government is nobody’s business;

10. President Duterte’s call for all government contracts with private entities, including foreign-based ones, to be checked and reviewed so that onerous provisions detrimental to the interest of the Filipino people can be removed; the President’s order was issued in the wake of his threat to terminate the contracts of Manila Water and Maynilad due to the water service interruptions in several areas of Metro Manila and Rizal and amidst questions raised by various sectors regarding Chinese loan deals for different infrastructure projects;

11. The threat made by President Duterte about declaring a “revolutionary war”, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and ordering the arrest of his critics following a remark made by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon cautioning the administration against not following proper procedures in its reexamination of existing government contracts with private companies; the President warned his critics that if they continue to attack him, he will declare a revolutionary war until the end of his term;

12. The estimates made by the Department of Agriculture (DA) showing that the El Niño spell has already affected 177,743 hectares of agricultural land and 164,672 farmers as of 02 April 2019; in addition, the damage to crops, mainly rice and corn, is now at P 5.05 B, with farmers in Cagayan Valley, Bicol, and Northern Mindanao being hardest hit;

13. The decision of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) not to authorize the settlement that would have allowed the distribution of US$ 13.75 M, raised from the sale of four (4) paintings illegally obtained by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, to 6,500 registered claimants in a class action suit against the Marcos estate; several groups of martial law victims condemned the OSG’s move and questioned the motive behind its decision to refuse the settlement deal; however, a federal judge in New York affirmed the settlement, with each of the martial law victims set to receive US$ 1,500 starting in May 2019; and

14. The denial issued by former Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte in connection with allegations that he received payoffs from a narcotics syndicate amount to nearly P 400 M in 2018; meanwhile, to dispute reports linking him to the drug trade, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go took off his shirt during a press conference in Agusan del Sur on 10 April 2019 to show that he did not have a tattoo, the presence of which would supposedly prove his ties to narcotics syndicates; Malacañang dismissed the report as “black propaganda” aimed at the President, his family, and close associates.

PBased on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 likely voters 18 years old and above, Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey has a +/- 2.3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level:  +/- 6.8% for Metro Manila, +/-3.5% for the rest of Luzon, +/-5.1% for Visayas and +/-4.8% for Mindanao. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)

PPulse Asia Research’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.  Pulse Asia Research undertakes Pulso ng Bayan pre-election surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

PFor any clarification or questions, kindly contact Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia Research at 09189436816 or Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President via Viber or Telegram at +639189335497 or at ronald.holmes@gmail.com (via email.).

[divider /]

Senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe share the top spot in the senatorial race; only about a third of Filipino registered voters (35%) are showing support for 12 senatorial candidates

If the conduct of the May 2019 elections coincided with the field interviews for this survey, only 14 of the candidates running for senator (out of a total of 62) would have a statistical chance of winning. Practically all of the probable winners are current or former members of Congress and among them, 10 are running under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) coalition. As for the other probable winners, one (1) is running as an independent candidate while the other three (3) are running under three (3) different political parties – the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), and the Liberal Party (LP). (Please refer to Table 1.)

Sharing 1st and 2nd places are Senators Cynthia Villar (51.7%) and Grace Poe (50.5%), both of whom are reelectionists. With his voter preference of 45.7%, former Senator Lito Lapid finds himself in 3rd to 4th places. Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano (43.9%) has a statistical ranking of 3rd to 6th places. Close behind the latter are former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go (40.8%) who is ranked 4th to 8th  and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara (40.4%) who has a statistical ranking of 4th to 9th places.

Completing the list of probable winners are former Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. (38.1%, 5th to 9th places), former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Ronald dela Rosa (36.7%, 5th to 9th places), Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay (36.2%, 6th to 9th places), Senator Aquilino Pimentel III (31.8%, 10th to 14th places), Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos (29.6%, 10th to 14th places), former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (28.8%, 10th to 14th places), Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (28.8%, 10th to 14th places), and Senator JV Estrada Ejercito (28.1%, 10th to 16th places).

While the senatorial preferences of nearly 90% of Filipino registered voters who are likely to cast their ballot in the coming midterm polls were measured, those of the rest could not, as some voters refused to fill up the facsimile of the ballot used for this survey’s electoral probe (5.2%), had their ballot invalidated because they voted for more than 12 candidates (4.7%), or got the ballot but did not vote for any of the 62 candidates running for senator in the May 2019 elections (1.5%).