Comelec tells SWS to submit details on latest senatorial survey
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MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., on Tuesday asked Social Weather Stations, Inc. (SWS) to furnish the Comelec with more details on the latest survey on senatorial candidates it conducted.

In a press conference, Brillantes said Comelec, as part of its mandate, has the power to obtain details and other information for clarification on published surveys conducted during the election period.

"We have rules on campaign propaganda using survey. When you make a private survey for your own self, there’s no problem there; if it was not published, you just use it for your own, there’s no problem there,” Brillantes said.

"Comelec can require survey companies to submit information on whether the poll they conducted was commissioned or not; and if it was published, to require them to furnish Comelec with certain information.

"When you publish it, then the one who conducted the survey is supposed to give some report. And SWS, generally comes out in their website with details of the survey conducted,” Brillantes said.

"Aside from that, we can ask from them some details,” Brillantes said.

Specifically, SWS should provide the poll body with information on the percentage of people survey, what exactly did they ask the respondents, the manner or mode of questioning, among other things.  

Who commissioned the survey is also crucial, poll experts said.

"If we need some clarificatory details, we have rules to require them to submit details on percentage, [such as how many people di you ask],” Brillantes said.

The should "provide us with that. [We will write them and tell them to give us this and that information. We’ve seen your site, but have questions for you],” he explained.

The SWS-BusinessWorld survey was conducted from February 15 to 17, just days after the start of the campaign period on February 12.

Reelectionist Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan and Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce "Jack" Enrile Jr. dropped out of the so-called Magic 12 senatorial line-up as administration bets dominate the slate, results of the latest SWS survey showed.

The survey, in partnership with BusinessWorld, showed Reelectionist Senator Gregorio “Gringo”  and Cagayan Rep. Juan Enrile, the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, dropping out of the top 12 from the 8th to 9th spot in the January survey to 13th spot in the February survey; Honasan dropped from 5th to 6th place to 15th place.

As Enrile and Honasan dropped out of the top 12, Liberal Party or Team PNoy bets Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara entered the top 12. Aquino's rankings jumped from 15th place to 9th-10th place in the latest survey while Angara jumped from 13th spot to 11th- 12th spot.

SWS said the top eight consisted of four members from Team PNoy, one from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and three independent candidates while three members from Team PNoy and four from UNA are statistically tied for the last four seats.

Reelectionist Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero remain in the top two spots with Legarda in the lead at 64 percent. At third place is also a reelectionist, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

In the fourth place is former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar (NP-PNoy), whose rankings jumped from 8th to 9th. Tied at fifth place are Grace Poe-Llamanzares who also jumped from the 10th to 11th place, and Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

Nancy Binay from UNA was ranked seventh while reelectionist Senator Antonio Trillanes IV rose to 8th place from 10th-11th place.

San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito is tied with Aquino at the 9th-10th place. The SWS noted that Ejercito's February rankings were the lowest, dropping from 4th in January.

Sharing the 11th to 12th place with Angara is former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The February survey was conducted among 1,200 registered voters nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages and ±6 percent for area percentages.