Honest-to-goodness survey-A A +A
Friday, March 1, 2013
A COUPLE of weeks ago, I came across an item in the social media about a supposed survey conducted by the embassies of the United Kingdom and France on voters’ preference in the mayoralty race in Cebu. It made me laugh.
The report was obviously false. Why would the UK and France bother to find out who is winning in Cebu City? And if they did conduct or commission a survey, Would they be so reckless as to release or at least leak its results?
I laughed harder when I remembered that three years ago, a similar report also came out regarding the presidential elections. Manny Villar was leading in the surveys conducted by the UK, French and US embassies, according to the report that was circulated in the Internet. Noynoy Aquino was a poor third.
I eventually learned who was behind the “survey.” He was also the one who spread the “results” and did such a good job at it that some media men actually fell for it. So, he’s back in business. Again.
Recently, the Social Weather Station (SWS) released the results of its latest survey on the senatorial elections. If the elections had been held within the period that the survey was conducted, Team PNoy would have routed Team Binay, Erap and Enrile, 9-3, according to SWS.
The reaction from the camp of the three kings was quick and expected. The results were unbelievable, they chorused. Mitos Magsaysay was aghast, unable to believe that she continues to inhabit the tailend of the list of preferred candidates.
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Toby Tiangco accused the Liberal Party of trending and warned that it could be preparatory to the commission of massive electoral fraud on May 13. Erap’s reaction was uncharacteristically sober. What it means, he said, is that we should meet and re-strategize.
What Erap saw and his allies did not is that an honest-to-goodness survey, as distinguished from a spurious one, can actually be very helpful in crafting new campaign strategy. The SWS survey is in the honest-to-goodness category; the one by “UK” and “France” is in the opposite class.
Tiangco may only be trying some damage control in belittling the results of the latest SWS survey. He must be worried about its possible bandwagon effect; very few love a loser.
But the UNA spokesman is in a bind. In the previous surveys which showed the party’s candidates enjoying a slight advantage over their rivals, he never questioned the integrity of SWS or that of its procedures. Questioning them now when the results show that they are losing smacks of sourgraping.
Here is what I will tell Tiangco, if he won’t mind unsolicited advice: Don’t shoot the messenger.
Sultan Jamalul Kiram III now knows that he cannot count on the Philippine government’s support for his efforts to reclaim Sabah for his sultanate. President Aquino made that plain. He even said that he lost the letter that Kiram wrote two years ago. Good grief! He probably never saw it.
Kiram has very little options left. The Malaysians can crush his small band of loyalists, led by his brother, at the snap of a finger. On the other hand, they cannot leave without losing face. Worse, they face possible arrest upon their return, for what crime, I do not know.
From what I gather, the sultan’s claim is legitimate. Malaysia is a land grabber. But how can Kiram enforce his rights? Will the United Nations listen to a solitary man, although with a just cause? Will Malaysia voluntarily settle with Kiram, paying him money for real estate which it continues to keep under its sovereignty?
I have a feeling that the repercussions of Kiram’s little caper and the administration’s handling of the same will haunt us in the years to come.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 01, 2013.