Press Release
January 31, 2016


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was elated that students seem to consider her the only choice in the May elections, as seen in the results of a new survey at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) where almost all student respondents chose her as president.

Santiago, who won in all campus polls conducted since the filing of certificates of candidacy in October, bagged 86 percent of votes in polls by the UPLB University Pulse Survey Research Program from November to December 2015. Results were released last week.

She was followed by Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas, who got 6 percent of votes, and Sen. Grace Poe, 5 percent. The remaining 3 percent of respondents said they have yet to choose a president for the May 9 elections.

"When a candidate leads a survey, it means that she is doing something right in her campaign. But when a candidate is almost unrivaled in a survey, that means voters see something wrong in the other choices," Santiago said.

This is not the first time Santiago topped a presidential poll in UPLB. In November, she was chosen by 66 percent of respondents in mock polls by political science students.

The senator also led campus surveys at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where she got 64 percent of votes; University of Santo Tomas, 66 percent; Ateneo de Manila, 37 percent; U.P. Manila, 59 percent; and University of Northern Philippines, 36 percent.

"Campus surveys are the pulse of the youth vote, a decisive factor in the presidential elections. If the UPLB survey is any indication, an overwhelming majority of youth voters will shade the circle next to my name in the ballot," Santiago said.

The Commission on Elections estimates that some 20 million or 37 percent of the voters in the May polls will be 18 to 35 years old, giving the candidate wielding the youth vote numbers enough to win the elections, comparable to the 17 million votes for President Aquino in 2010.

Santiago said her scores in pre-election surveys can only go up nearing Election Day. She is the only presidential candidate who has yet to release campaign ads, in deference to the Comelec intention of limiting the campaign from February 9 to May 7.

The senator has earlier assailed her rivals in the presidential race for spending a total of P2.3 billion in ads before the start of the campaign period. She called on her colleagues in the Senate to fast-track the passage of her anti-premature campaigning bill.

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