Press Release
April 22, 2010

Gordon sues SWS, Pulse Asia
"Surveys rob the people of their right to vote wisely"

Bagumbayan Party presidential bet Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon today formally filed a case against two survey firms who have been frequently releasing pre-election survey results, stressing that such polls rob the people of their right to choose their leaders wisely.

"We filed the case today and asked for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on all their surveys. These surveys serve no public purpose except to rob the people of their right to be able to engage in a mental exercise where they can gauge their candidate's capability. It is mental conditioning in no uncertain terms," Gordon said.

On Thursday, Gordon, through Atty. Christian Diaz, filed a civil case against the Social Weather Station, Inc. (SWS) and Pulse Asia, Inc. for damages with application for TRO and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

The senator explained that he filed the case practically not just for himself but in behalf of the Filipino people whose choices will be affected by these surveys. He demanded P100,000 for nominal damages, and P500,000 for exemplary damages-both will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross.

 "We have been damaged. The country has been damaged. I'm not interested in the money, otherwise I would have asked for P100 million so I can give more to the Red Cross. I am protecting the public. The public must be made to think through the exercise of the most important right in a democracy-to vote wisely," Gordon said.

 The Bagumbayan standard-bearer stressed that the case was filed against SWS and Pulse Asia because they refuse to disclose the details of their procedures, only indicating sample size and margin of error. Without regard to the Fair Election Practices Act and the Code of Professional Standards and Ethical Practices, SWS and Pulse Asia have failed and refused to disclose the sponsors who commissioned them, the methodology and sample design used in their surveys, the questions asked and the order they were asked.

 Furthermore, he found it dubious how these two survey firms come up with results almost every few weeks if they actually used scientifically and statistically sound methodologies.

He added that the sample of respondents is far from representative of the population of registered voters. He echoed the observation of one scientist that the SWS survey sample size of 2,100 at a 2% margin of error assumes a population of only 13,125 registered voters nationwide, while the Pulse Asia sample size of 1,800 at a 2% margin of error translates to only 6,429 registered voters.

 The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has a registry of more than 50 million voters for the May 10 elections.

"When the media commits a mistake, they can be sued. But why can't we sue the survey firms? In 2004, they said GMA (President Gloria Arroyo) would win in Luzon, but it was otherwise. They said I was no. 29 when I ran for the Senate, but after the elections I came out no. 5," Gordon said.

 "Are we supposed to accept the results of the surveys as gospel truth? What if they are wrong? They can just get away with it? I have nothing against the conduct of the survey per se, but if they would publish the results, they must include all necessary information and they must be accountable," he added.

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