Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the Filipino electorate not to rely on the results of pre-election preference surveys recently released by polling firms as a primary basis in selecting candidates for the May 13 national and local elections.
De Lima, a known election lawyer, said the Filipino voters should not be influenced by the results of the recent voters' preference surveys which she maintained do not determine the general will of the Filipino people.
She instead challenged the voters to prove these survey results wrong by choosing candidates who have proven integrity, track-record and solid qualifications of public service than rely on their mere popularity.
"Surveys are surveys. They're not the actual votes. The real survey occurs on election day itself," De Lima said in a short statement she issued last May 9. "Go out and vote on May 13. Prove the surveys wrong!"
In the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia pre-election surveys, administration-backed senatorial candidates topped the roster of senatoriables likely to win in the upcoming midterm elections in May 13.
De Lima, however, expressed belief that many things can still happen on days leading to the polls and the actual Election Day can change the voters' preference.
According to her, the fact that Mr. Duterte continues to verbally attack the members of united opposition's senatorial slate Otso Diretso means that he considers them as a threat to his reign.
"Duterte's taunting and mocking of the Otso Diretso candidates is a very good sign. That means the opposition slate's numbers are improving," she earlier noted.
In a separate handwritten statement last May 7, the lady Senator from Bicol reiterated her appeal to the public to reject Duterte's candidates and not allow the Senate to be dominated by leaders who will only kowtow to the President.
"Sa halos tatlong taon ng panunungkulan ng rehimeng Duterte, ano na ba ang nagawa nila, maliban sa araw-araw na patayan, karahasan, kabastusan at pamimigay ng ating teritoryo?" she said.
"Sa darating na eleksyon, susuportahan ba natin ang mga kandidatong magpapatuloy ng ganitong kalakaran?" she added.
It may be recalled that in a commentary entitled "Last Chance" published in Rappler last April 1, De Lima warned that the Senate's power to check the President would be decimated if Mr. Duterte manages "to stack the Senate with his loyal followers."
Source: Senate of the Philippines