All the surveys for the upcoming national elections in the Philippines are beginning to haunt me. It seems that different survey firms have different results but the presidential top. The Social Weather Stations latest survey conducted between April 16 and 19 this same year showed Benigno Aquino III still at the top with 38%, while Manuel Villar Jr. gets 26%, Joseph Estrada with 17%, Gilberto Teodoro Jr. with only 9%, Eduardo Villanueva ties with Richard Gordon with 2%, Jamby Madrigal with 0.3%, Jesus Nicanor Perlas with 0.2%, and John Carlos De Los Reyes with 0.2%. In the survey, there are 6% still undecided.

Now, an informal survey is also ongoing at 7-11. In the past four American presidential elections, 7-11 cup surveys had been very accurate. Now, it’s in the Philippines. In the survey held at its 450 convenience stores nationwide, Aquino tops with 87,959 votes from cold beverage drinkers. He is followed by former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro with 37,226 votes. Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. follows with 32,727 votes, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon with 26,010 votes, and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada with 14,968 votes. 14,944 voters did not find the survey useful.

7-11’s president for Philippine operations is known to be a very avid supporter of Aquino.

Some surveys have also limited their questionings to Aquino and Villar, making all the others ‘ghost presidential bidders’. It is another reason for me to believe that surveys are a trending game.

There are still so many kinds of surveys held here and there, which I find amusing. Releasing surveys this close to the election proper will actually influenced the voting public. I personally talked to some people, mostly taxi drivers who rely on these surveys. A few said they want Gibo or Gordon but either is winnable so they might go for Aquino, a sure winner according to surveys.

Personally, I liked surveys but the way it goes here in the Philippines? I might as well do more important things that involve myself into some other people’s number game.

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Surveys can tell us something but we are definitely wiser now. We cant just let surveys dictate us who we want to win the Presidency and endure another 6 years of unhappy leadership. What we can do is check out the lives and deeds of our Presidential candidates. From more than a dozen, we only now have 10 official candidates. The Comelec’s list includes Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro under the administration or Lakas-Kampi CMD party, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party, Manuel B. Villar Jr. (Nacionalista Party, Richard J. Gordon of the Bagumbayan party, Joseph “Erap” Estrada of Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino – UNO, John Carlos “JC” Delos Reyes of Ang Kapatiran, Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” A.S. Madrigal running as an independent, Eddie C. Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas, Nicanor Perlas, and Vetallano Acosta of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.

The surveys identify Aquino on the lead, Villar on a strong second, and Estrada on the mighty third place. They are followed by Teodoro, Gordon, and the rest. If the election is based on surveys alone, the Liberal Party could have won the highest post of the country. But we are not robots that are fed with information to move. We are a bunch of feeling people; we can think and make a stand on what we want. Let us vote wisely. Let us not be dictated nor be corrupted with what the papers say.

Of course, let us choose a leader who really has the leadership skills on top of what he or she has in the heart. This factor is very important unless we want to once again be ruled in a puppet government style the way we were in the American regime. We cannot let that happen, can we?