Sotto, Lacson keep lead in new SWS survey

MANILA, Philippines – Re-electionist Senator Vicente Sotto III dropped 4 percentage points in a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, allowing comebacking Senator Panfilo Lacson to catch up to put their numbers in a tie in the top spot. 

Sotto dropped to 52% in the SWS February 5-7 survey from his comfortable 56% in the same polling firm's January survey. Lacson's numbers are unchanged at 49%. The SWS poll was first published by Business World.

The survey's 3-percentage-point error margin puts Sotto's numbers from 49% to 55% and Lacson's numbers from 46% to 52%. 

The two candidates have long held a significant lead over the other senatorial candidates, allowing them to stay ahead in spite of movements in their numbers. 

Behind them for ranks 3-7 are re-electionist and comebacking senators: Ralph Recto (46%), Francis Pangilinan (42%), Franklin Drilon (40%) and Juan Miguel Zubiri (38%), Senator Sergio Osmeña (37%). Their numbers have moved slightly up or down but have maintained their rank in the survey. 

Senator Teofisto Guingona III has been registering poorly in the polls, relative to his fellow incumbent senators. He is in among 7 candidates fighting for the last 5 slots in the so-called "Magic 12."

Guingona's 26% puts him behind relatively new names – boxing champion Sarangani Representative Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (35%), former justice secretary Leila de Lima (35%), and former Akbayan Representative Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros (27%), who all ranked between 8-10. 

The other 3 cliffhangers are former senator Richard J. Gordon (26%), Representative Sherwin Gatchalian (23%) and former Representative Joel Villanueva (22%).

In the presidential race, Vice President Jejomar Binay remained on top, with Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe now tied in 2nd place.

Senator Francis Escudero, meanwhile, now shares the lead in the vice-presidential preference survey with Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com