HE MAY be at the tail-end of recent popular surveys, but Senator Richard Gordon found allies from mass communication students from the University of the Philippines (UP).

The “Scholars of the People” selected the UP Law alumnus, garnering 139 out of the 370 votes (34.07 percent) cast in a mock election held recently at the UP College of Mass Communication in Diliman, Quezon City.

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Gordon was closely followed by Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro with 107 votes while cousin Senator Benigno Aquino III of Liberal Party had 48 votes.

Nacionalista Party bet Manny Villar Jr. is fourth with 37 votes while independent candidate Nicanor Perlas got 15.

Bangon Pilipinas’ Bro. Eddie Villanueva had five votes, independent candidate Senator Jamby Madrigal got three votes and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino bet former President Joseph Estrada had a lone vote.

Meanwhile, KBL bet financial consultant Vetallano Acosta and Ang Kapatiran Party presidentiable Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes did not get any vote.

Fifteen students, representing 4.05 percent of the total voter turnout, abstained in the presidential survey. The UP-CMC has 1,086 enrolled students.

“The results of the mock poll show disconnect between the preferences of the students and the perceived perception of the Filipino voters as shown in the surveys,” said former dean Luis Teodoro in a briefing Tuesday.

Teodoro, who is also a columnist for BusinessWorld, said the students may have chosen those candidates who were “fluently persuasive” or “smooth, smooth talker.”

He added that the mock poll results may be perceived as an “expression of protest over what is perceived to be popular.”

Aside from the ex-dean’s observation, many student-participants in the mock polls cited the ability of Gordon and Teodoro to articulate their respective specific platforms well.

Ironically, the result coincided with Gordon’s desire to amend the constitution in favor of foreign companies to own media outfits in the country.

“Yes, they (investors) can own 60 percent, 40 percent, 30 percent or whatever. They will have a share so that our media can be competitive,” he said in a radio interview.

Gordon made the statement after lamenting the seeming bias of media outfits on “moneyed” candidates whose trivial statements are picked up. He even blasted Villar for keeping “embedded” journalists on his sorties.

Article 16, Section 3, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, states that: "The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens."

Media groups have also denounced the moves of politicians to open the floodgates for foreign investors.

The latest Pulse Asia survey showed the 64-year-old senator at poor sixth, with only one percent of the 1,800 respondents.

In January, students from the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila picked the Bagumbayan standard bearer among the presidential aspirants in a mock poll done after a forum.

Gordon got 59 votes, followed by Gilbert Teodoro (23), Aquino (20), Villanueva (17), Perlas (10), Estrada (9), Manny Villar (7), and de los Reyes (2). (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)