'Binay not a shoo-in for 2016, dark horse possible'
MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay is not a shoo-in for the presidency in the 2016 elections even if he is leading in the latest Pulse Asia survey, according to a veteran political analyst.
For one thing, there is still the possibility of a "dark horse" candidate - similar to Benigno Aquino III - who could emerge from the pack and win the election even though he or she is not even included in the survey.
Dr. Clarita Carlos said the latest Pulse Asia survey, which showed Binay leading a group of veteran and neophyte politicians as the "preferred presidential" candidate for 2016, is too early to be a real indicator of voter preference in the upcoming polls.
"Surveys are supposed to indicate at any one time, point what the public seems to be feeling. The opinion of the public. However, the public can change anytime for many reasons and factors," she told radio dzMM.
Carlos denied that Binay is already a shoo-in for the presidency, based on the Pulse Asia survey results.
"Some say shoo-in na si Vice-President. Hindi pa tapos ang boxing ika nga," she said.
However, she also pointed out that if the numbers continue to hold, Binay could win the next presidential election.
"Kung talagang walang mag e-emerge na merong mechanism, may salapi at organization katulad ng kay VP Binay, panalo talaga siya," she said.
According to the survey, at least 40 percent of 1,200 respondents said they would vote for Binay if elections were held today.
Binay has long declared his plan to run for president in 2016. Binay heads the government's housing agencies, and recently left his fractious party PDP-Laban.
Meanwhile, neophyte senator Grace Poe registered second in the survey with 15 percent, followed by Miriam Defensor-Santiago (10%), Chiz Escudero (9%), Mar Roxas (6%), Bongbong Marcos (5%), Alan Peter Cayetano (4%), Kris Aquino (4%), Bong Revilla (3%) and Panfilo Lacson (2%).
In the interview, Carlos said Roxas faces an "overwhelming task" if he decides to pursue the presidency in 2016.
Roxas, who placed 5th in the survey, has been rumored to be the Liberal Party's presidential bet. Roxas lost to Binay in the 2010 vice-presidential race, the results of which Roxas has contested.
"Medyo overwhelming kasi parang single digit yata ang nakuha niya but if I were he at marubdub ang kanyang pangarap na maging presidente, ilang days ba ang kailangan niya para makuha yun. So many things can happen really. Malay mo, baka may dark horse pa yan," Carlos said.
The analyst said she does not know which among the possible presidential bets could corner the youth vote. She noted that the youth vote - voters ages 18 to 40 - do not usually vote collectively.
She lamented that the current political party system in the country is weak, which would have weeded out some of the candidates.
She also did not place much weight on President Aquino's possible anointing of a successor. "I really don't care who anoints who. I will choose based on my criteria," she said.
Carlos, however, expressed admiration for Sen. Grace Poe, who placed second in the Pulse Asia survey.
"She is very young and newly elected but I have been very impressed with her. If the numbers are to be believed, a Binay-Poe tandem could be a good combination. Tandem, meaning they are running together...I don't know if she should run for Vice-President. If she has money and the mechanism, she may. Anyone can run," she said.
She also described Cayetano as a "rising star" and a "very articulate person" despite only getting 4% in the survey.
Carlos warned the release of the Pulse Asia survey could lead to "reflexive prediction" wherein people will vote according to what is predicted.
She said that instead of paying attention to the survey, voters should do their own research and choose their next leaders wisely. She said there could be another situation wherein a person was elected "because his mother died" - referring to President Aquino.
"I am sorry to be very crude about it but that's just the point. You have to elect somebody for some other very good reason," she said.