NEWCOMER Sen. Grace Poe left Vice President Jejomar Binay choking in her dust in the latest survey on preferred 2016 presidential contenders.

She is now Number 1 nationwide at 30 percent, the May 30 to June 5 survey conducted by Pulse Asia found. Binay gagged in Poe’s dust at 22 percent.

Poe looks set to further widen that lead, as persistent scandals drag back Binay’s standing.

Just before the survey publication, for instance, the Supreme Court scrapped the bid by Binay’s Makati mayor son to get three justices – Lourdes Sereno, Antonio Caprio and Martin Villarama – to inhibit from hearing graft charges. These link also the other family members..

“The justices indicated they are not voluntarily inhibiting,” Court spokesman Theodore Te said in a press briefing. “That’s it."

On March 17, Sereno, along with associate justices Carpio and Villarama Jr., junked Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.’s bid to inhibit themselves from hearing the Ombudsman’s petitiion in connection with overpricing in construction of the P2.3 billion Makati City Hall Building II.

Before the High Court was Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’s petition to stop the Court of Appeal’s April 6 writ of preliminary injunction, in Binay’s favor.

That indefinitely stretched a 60-day temporary restraining order it earlier directed.

Early June, the Binay counsels alleged Sereno had “pre-concieved bias" against the condonation doctrine. This acquits a public official from administrative liability when reelected.

In asking Carpio to step aside, the Binay camp asserted he is the first cousin of Ombudsman Carpio-Morales.

Binay sought Villlarama’s recusal for “being in touch with lawyers from the Ombudsman. His statement during the oral arguments reflect this." Any shelter in a storm?

Binay’s poll lead was already crumbling in May, Laylo Research Strategies points out. He did keep a tenuous edge in Mindanao, but only by skin of his teeth through a “statistical tie.”

The new survey showed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is still on the 3rd spot but now with 15 percent. He broke from the tie with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, preferred today by 10 percent. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was in a tie with Estrada.

Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” survey had 1,200 respondents nationwide, with a margin of error of ± 3

Across all socio-economic classes, except the poorest segment, Poe beat Binay as the most preferred candidate.

What about the vice presidential derby?

Poe also topped that one, this time with a 41 percent preference nationwide. She was followed by Sen. Francis Escudero with 15 percent.

Has Binay’s political pitch been off key all along?

In a June 14 campaign speech in Quezon Province Binay promised: if elected president he’d turn all barangay officials into salaried government officials.

Binay dodged actual head counts and financial implications of his plan. As of March 15 this year, there were 42,029 barangays in the country.

Since each barangay has, on average 10 officials, the total number of “employees” that Binay would hire would come to almost half a million. Where is he going to get that kind of cash?

“Innovative is the new meaning of corrupt,” Sun.Star Cebu columnist Elias Espnoza wrote. That’s if you believe what Binay said at a Manila media conference. “I am not corrupt, just innovative.”

VP Binay insisted he has not been suspended. Therefore, it follows that he is not corrupt? Hindi tayo innovator eh. Kung nag-iinnovate ka, chances are magkakakaso ka,” Binay said.

He is playing with words. While Binay and son may tag themselves an innovator, as mayors of Makati, the Commission on Audit (COA) saw their innovations as “red flags.” Now COA commissioner Heidi Mendoza led the team that documented the Makati scam.

The Blue Ribbon subcommittee found Makati parking building 2 grossly ovepriced and called it a "fraud." Still, “Binay even has the gall to say that, if elected president, he would continue the anti-corruption campaign of President Noynoy,” Espinoza wrote.

“I will remove those who continue to steal, Binay pledged. But not President Aquino. "He is not involved there."

Sorry for the language, Espinoza said. So, if you know someone who is facing corruption cases, don’t call him corrupt but just call him “the innovator.” “ But sobrang kapalmuks talaga si kakulay.”