A MALACAÑANG official expressed confidence that other administration candidates would eventually emerge victorious in the 2010 elections, welcoming the recent Pulse Asia survey showing Lakas-Kampi-CMD re-electionist Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. topping the senatoriables.

“Because Senator Revilla is running under the administration party, we are pleased by this recent development on his favor. (We hope) his lead will be sustained in the months to come,” Deputy Presidential Spokesman Gary Olivar said.

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The Pulse Asia Survey conducted from January 22 to 26 covering 1,800 respondents showed Revilla topping the list with a voter preference of 51.9 percent followed by Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada (50.4 percent) and Pilar Juliana Cayetano (46.8 percent).

Also leading the race are former Senate President Franklin Drilon (43.2 percent), Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (41.2 percent), and incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (39.7 percent).

Completing the top 12 are former National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General Ralph Recto (34.4 percent), former Senators Sergio Osmeña III (31.6 percent) and Vicente Sotto III (30.5 percent), re-electionist Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid (29.7 percent), Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (26.3 percent), and Jose “Joey” de Venecia III (24 percent).

Closely behind them are Muntinlupa Representative Rozzano Rufino Biazon (19.8 percent), Bukidnon Representative Teofisto Guingona III (19.7 percent), and lawyer Alexander Lacson (19.1 percent).

Olivar said while only Revilla and Lapid made it to the top 15, they are confident other administration senatorial bets would catch up, citing that voters are now more selective and mature in making their choices.

“We remain optimistic that there is a plight to quality that is developing in the way voters are proceeding the campaign and that will also include the way they select their senatorial candidates. We believe that we have a strong slate of very qualified people that we are fielding for the senate and we are confident that all of them we make it through,” he said.

Olivar said the same confidence applies to other administration candidates including Lakas-Kampi-CMD bets Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. (president) and Edu Manzano (vice president).

There is no word yet if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would kick off the administration’s campaign on February 9, but Olivar is confident that the Teodoro-Manzano tandem could carry and lead the Lakas-Kampi party well.

He further said the non-involvement of Arroyo in Teodoro’s recent activities had nothing to do with the notion that being linked to Arroyo would mean “a kiss of death” for the candidate citing that opposition groups are now linking their bets to the Chief Executive’s name.

The Palace official was referring to allegations of the Liberal Party (LP) camp that there is an alliance between the President and Nacionalista Party bet Senator Manny Villar, which contributed to his improved ratings.

The Pulse Asia survey from January 22 to 26 showed Villar’s rating going up to 35 percent as against the 37 percent of LP bet Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Aquino lost 8 points since the December survey while Villar gained 12 points. (JMR/Sunnex)