By NITZ ARANCON, Correspondent .
PADAYON Pilipino-Centrist Democratic Party coalition mayoral candidate Jose Gabriel La Viña over the weekend questioned what he called “meaningless” and irrelevant survey results released Friday by his high school alma mater, the Jesuit-run Xavier University.
But his partymate, congressional candidate Rufus Rodriguez, neither sees the survey results meaningless nor irrelevant — the ex-congressman said he was thankful and “happy” with the results in that these showed the standing of candidates.
The April 4-11 survey, conducted by the university’s Kinaadman: University Research Office (Kuro), showed La Viña ranking a poor second to reelectionist Mayor Oscar Moreno of the PDP-Laban. The results showed La Viña with a 16-percent voter preference against Moreno’s 61.5 percent.
La Viña questioned the timing of the release of the survey results, noting that it was conducted from April 4 to April 11.
He said it took XU-Kinaadman two weeks before it presented the results to the public.
That, according to La Viña, made the results “meaningless” and “ancient history.”
“Kung 100-meter race pa na, mao pay pagbuto sa pusil. Of course, mauna gyud si Moreno tungod kay mas una pa siyang nailhan kay sa akoa.”
For his part, Rodriguez thanked Xavier University for conducting the survey: “It would give the picture… of how candidates now stand.”
Rodriguez is a former congressman seeking the representative’s post in the city’s 2nd District that his brother Maximo Jr. is leaving vacant. He is the leader of the Centrist Democratic Party that coalesced with the Padayon Pilipino, a coalition that is supporting La Viña’s bid for the mayoral post.
The ex-congressman said the “survey is just a measure” of the preference of voters although “not exact.”
Rodriguez added that “I am happy to note that we are leading but at the same time, we have to work hard because as we have said, a survey is not election.”
Based on the survey results, Rodriguez has a comfortable lead over his rival, PDP-Laban’s Councilor Yan Lam Lim. The results showed Rodriguez with a vote preference of 59.2 percent over Lim’s 19.4 percent and Partido Federal ng Pilipinas’s Roger Villazorda’s 0.9 percent.
He said he would continue campaigning hard despite his comfortable lead based on the survey results.
Rodriguez’s rival said he was unfazed. On Friday, Lim called on his supporters to “keep on the fight!”
“We will exert more efforts. We will win. It would be a close fight,” said Lim, saying the survey results would guide him in his actions between now and election day.
Lim expressed optimism: “It’s a very good sign for me, and wala ko ma-discourage.”
Lim’s candidate, reelectionist Mayor Oscar Moreno, said he was encouraged by the survey results.
Reads part of his statement: “Our unprecedented performance since we assumed office in 2013, coupled by the spirit of teamwork and harmony that our entire city slate has so consistently demonstrated, are bearing fruits. The said survey results have shown that.”
Moreno, too, has expressed optimism, saying that the results suggested that “we can still attain our group objective of a sweep” or 11-0 for each of the city’s two districts.
He added: “It is already within reach! With this, we are – as one cohesive team – all the more encouraged. We earnestly hope that our message of teamwork and harmony will be embraced by the vast majority of our people in the remaining weeks.”
Like Rodriguez, another Padayon Pilipino-CDP candidate, former councilor Ramon Tabor, thanked his alma mater for commissioning the survey.
Tabor, based on the results of the Kinaadman survey, is in the list of Top 7 candidates for city council seats in the 2nd District.
Tabor said he found the survey useful as a guide even as it encourages him to campaign harder in the coming days.
“At least na-a kitay guide, unsay atong buhaton tali-wala nga nakasulod kita,” he said.
The only two candidates for city council seats of the Padayon Pilipino in the 2nd District who were included in the top 1-7 category based on the survey results are Tabor and reelectionist Councilor Dometilo Acenas Jr.. The other five candidates are running under the PDP-Laban ticket of Mayor Moreno. In the 1st District, the Top 7 list includes all of Moreno’s candidates.
Despite the Xavier-Kinaadman survey results, however, La Viña also remained optimistic, and maintained that his ratings were shooting up while Moreno’s ratings were plunging based on the results of surveys commissioned by the Padayon Pilipino-CDP coalition.
“Akong tan-aw, ahead na mi sa District 2 ug gaapas sa District 1 kay lage balwarte man kana ni Klarex Uy,” he said.
The representative of the city’s 1st District is Rolando Uy, father of Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy. The Kinaadman survey result also showed them, both reelectionists, leading comfortably.
Meanwhile, La Viña asked his alma mater to be “transparent” in its survey method and to speed up the release of the results.
The university’s research group said it would be conducting another survey and the results would be presented to the public in early May.
La Viña claimed that the latest survey commissioned by his group showed his ratings increasing to 16 percent. He claimed that of eight of every 10 Cagayanon favor him, particularly at Cogon and Carmen markets.
The Padayon Pilipino-CDP surveys, according to La Viña, encouraged him continue his campaign for the city’s top post given the kind of public support he has been receiving. He said the Padayon Pilipino-CDP has not been hauling people off to their campaign rallies.