A possible rigging operation allegedly carried out by Social Weather Stations to favor administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race was bared yesterday by a former ranking government official.
An SWS survey conducted March 30 to April 2 released Monday showed Robredo posting a 7-point jump in the survey to obtain a 1 point lead over perennial frontrunner Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.
Former Press Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao in his newspaper column said the SWS adopted a new method in conducting a survey which it did not do in the past elections.
He pointed out that the SWS made use of a secret balloting procedure where respondents were asked to fill out a ballot and put them in a container. The ballots were then separately opened and tallied by the SWS in a place all by themselves with no third party.
Tiglao said in the latest survey, the SWS invalidated five percent of the ballots due to “invalid” mark. “Ngunit ayon kay Tiglao sa pinakahuling survey, 5 percent ng balota ang hindi binilang dahil sa ‘invalid’ mark. Hindi naman sinabi ng SWS, ayon kay Tiglao, kung ano ang mga invalid mark na yun.”
With the invalidation of the five percent of the ballots, Tiglao said the rating of Robredo jumped and the rating of Marcos went down by one point. He said it is highly possible that the five percent invalidated votes went to Marcos.
He further stated that in all surveys conducted by other polling companies in the same period, only SWS showed a Robredo lead with a 7-point jump to boot.
The 100,000-strong Fernando Poe Jr. for President Movement expressed the same sentiment saying the SWS appears to be laying the groundwork for a repeat of the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections.
Manny Fortes, National Chairman of the FPJPM, said the release of the SWS of its latest survey results on the vice presidential survey showing Robredo suddenly jump six points to gain the lead is reminiscent of their experience in the 2004 elections between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and movie icon Fernando Poe Jr.
“If you can still remember, towards the end of the elections, SWS showed survey showing that Arroyo was ahead of FPJ. They also had an exit poll showing that Arroyo won over FPJ in the National Capital Region but the election results showed FPJ won by a wide margin over GMA in the NCR,” he said.
He said there is no way Robredo could jump six points over Marcos to take the lead in just a span of one week without any concrete reason. “Talagang ino-operate na naman at ginagawa na naman nila ang ginawa nilang dayaan noon kay FPJ,” he said.
On the contrary, he said, Marcos is the man to beat on the ground especially in vote-rich areas such as NCR, Southern Tagalog, Solid North, Region 8 and Mindanao. “Robredo is not even registering on the ground. Everyone we speak to always tell us they are for Marcos,” he said.