PNoy to use survey gains for successor

Liberals hoping ‘kingmaker’ role will benefit Mar

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will likely be a “kingmaker” in 2016 as his endorsement for his successor will be a game changer due to his high trust rating, leaders of the ruling Liberal Party said Sunday.

The LP officials expressed hope and confidence that while the LP’s presumptive standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II was trailing in the surveys, the President’s endorsement would carry him to victory.

Roxas, LP president-on-leave, only garnered 6 percent against his arch rival Vice President Jejomar Binay in the November Pulse Asia survey of top presidential contenders.

Binay, who suffered a five-point decline from September, remains the leading presidential contender, while Roxas a seven-point decline to fall from 13 percent in September.

Binay is the founding chairman of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, which he registered as a political party to carry him as standard bearer in the 2016 polls.

LP secretary general and Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said President Aquino’s high trust ratings was a reflection of his endorsement power in the 2016 presidential elections.

“The Pulse Asia survey showing President Aquino as the most trusted government official is proof that he is doing the right thing for our country and our people. This also shows that the President’s endorsement will be the ultimate game-changer in 2016 and all could shatter whatever are the results of the present voters’ preference surveys,” Sarmiento said.

LP vice chairman for the Visayas and Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas agreed, and noted that the present voters’ preference surveys conducted by the country’s top polling agencies have not factored in the endorsement power of President Aquino and the LP’s highly organized and far-reaching political machinery.

Trenas said the people’s support on President Aquino was definitely “transferable” to his anointed candidates because the people would certainly want continuity in the reforms and programs that were set in place by his administration.

“With his great success in managing our economy and his fight against graft and corruption, Pnoy’s endorsement can have a huge impact on the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections,” Trenas said.

Pulse Asia Research’s November 2014 Ulat ng Bayan Survey showed that President Aquino was the most trusted government official with a 59 percent approval rating and a 56 percent trust rating.

Sarmiento said that while the LP was not closing its doors on adopting non-LP candidates, they were still “very confident that Secretary Manuel Mar Roxas II will carry the LP banner in 2016.”

The LP officials attributed Roxas’ continued poor showing in the surveys to the “relentless political mudslinging” against him.

“Secretary Roxas is a victim of this relentless political mudslinging but despite all these nasty and below-the-belt attacks against him, he remains very focused in helping President Aquino in carrying out all the reforms needed to bring our nation forward. I think that with President Aquino’s endorsement, people would soon realize that Secretary Roxas played a very important role in ensuring the success of his administration,” Sarmiento added.

Marinduque Rep. Regina Reyes said the President would be a credible kingmaker in the 2016 elections not only because he was a good and effective leader but also “because he has consistently demonstrated that his words are true and his intentions are pure.”

“We’ve never had such a true and honest leader like President Aquino. People trust him so much as shown by the latest Pulse Asia survey because of his honesty and dedication as the father of our nation. This kind of trust will make our people support whoever will be endorsed by the President in 2016,” said Reyes, vice-chairman of the House committee on national defense.

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