MANILA (March 30) — Vice President Manuel “Noli” de Castro Jr., and Senators Manuel Villar Jr., Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero topped a list of potential successors to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo once her term ends in 2010, pollster Social Weather Stations said Monday.
SWS said the four emerged as the top recommended successors to Mrs. Arroyo in a survey last Feb. 20 to 23, where respondents were asked to name up to three possible choices.
“Sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang Konstitusyon, ang termino ni Pang. Arroyo ay hanggang sa taong 2010 lamang at magkakaroon ng halalan para sa pagka-pangulo sa Mayo 10, 2010. Sinu-sino sa palagay ninyo ang mga magagaling na lider na dapat pumalit kay Pang. Arroyo bilang Presidente? Maaari po kayong magbanggit ng hanggang tatlong sagot,” it said in its question to respondents.
[Under the present Constitution, the term of Pres. Arroyo is up to 2010 only, and there will be an election for a new President in May 2010. Who do you think are good leaders who should succeed Pres. Arroyo as President? You may give up to three names.]
To that question, 27 percent named de Castro; 26 percent named Villar; 25 percent named Legarda, and 23 percent named Escudero.
Following them were Senator Manuel Roxas II (15 percent), Senator Panfilo Lacson (14 percent), and former President Joseph Estrada (13 percent).
“No list of names was provided to prompt the respondents,” the SWS said on its website.
The survey also found 4 percent mentioning Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, while about 1 percent mentioned Sen. Richard Gordon, Sen. Ramon Revilla, Jr., Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando.
About 13 percent could not give an answer, and 7 percent had no one to recommend.
“Compared to December 2008, the mentions rose for Sen. Roxas by 5 points, for Sen. Escudero by 4 points, for Sen. Santiago by 3 points, and for former President Estrada by 2 points,” the SWS said.
On the other hand, the mentions went down for De Castro by 4 points, for Legarda by 3 points, and for Villar by 1 point.
The First Quarter of 2009 Social Weather Survey was conducted over February 20-23, 2009 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults.
The respondents were divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for area percentages). (MNS)