By Camille Elemia
An uncomissioned Pulso ng Pilipino national survey shows a split 2013 senatorial race between candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance and the Liberal Party.
The same survey shows former President Joseph Estrada is the top political endorser.
The survey was conducted nationwide by The Issues and Advocacy Center from January 9 to 17 this year, with 1,200 respondents.
Re-electionist senator Loren Legarda topped the survey results, followed by Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano.
They are followed by Representative JV Ejercito, Senator Koko Pimentel and Cynthia Villar, Senator Gregorio Honasan, former senator Miguel Zubiri, Representative Jack Enrile, Nancy Binay, Senator Antonio Trillanes the fourth and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Ed Malay, the Center's director, explains the reasons why the same names rank in various surveys is that politics is all about funding, elaborating that many of those who scored high are candidates with name recall, funding and political machineries.
The same survey also shows President Benigno Aquino's net approval rating at 45 percent, scoring the highest among minimum wage earners and among those with annual compensation of P301,000 or more.
Additionally, 32% of the respondents say they are satisfied with present conditions in the country, while 50% indicated they remain hopeful that conditions will get better at the end of President Aquino's term.
Despite these positive ratings, however, the President only comes in second to former president and UNA leader Joseph Estrada as top political endorser.
They are followed by former President Fidel V. Ramos and Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo.
More than half of the respondents also say they believe the suspension of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia is politically-motivated, the same goes with moves to link Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino to the illegal numbers game Jueteng.
Malay says the results of the survey would remain fluid, depending on the manner by which these candidates and leaders campaign.
He clarifies that pre-election surveys are just a reflection of the perception of the respondents at the time the were polled, plus possibly reflecting influences of media, but should not be taken as the gospel truth.
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Before it was known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), it used to be the Countrywide Development Fund. Whatever it may be called, the bottomline is it is an appropriation made to help the political careers of elected officials. Solar News anchor Pia Hontiveros takes a closer look at the history of pork. Aired on Solar Daybreak, November 7, 2013.