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29 April 2010

Philippines Election Survey: Aquino seen heading for landslide win

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The son of late Philippine democracy heroine Corazon Aquino appears headed for a landslide victory in next month's presidential election, AFP reported, quoting a survey.

Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they would vote for Benigno Aquino, two percentage points higher than the previous survey in early April, independent pollster Pulse Asia Inc. said.

"With almost four in 10 Filipino registered voters supporting his presidential bid, Senator Aquino remains the leading presidential contender in the May 2010 elections," Pulse Asia said.

Tied at second place were millionaire property developer Manuel Villar and ex-president Joseph Estrada with support of 20 percent each.

Villar, who had been regarded as Aquino's chief rival, saw his support fall five percentage points, while Estrada gained two points.

Estrada enjoyed the most emphatic win in Philippine electoral history in 1998 when he secured 39 percent of the vote. But his presidency ended abruptly in 2001 amid allegations of corruption and mass street rallies.

The latest survey by Pulse Asia, whose polling is regarded in Philippine politics as among the most reputable, interviewed 1,800 registered voters from April 23 to 25. It said the poll was its final one before the election.

Aquino tapped into a massive outpouring of sympathy over his mother's death late last year as a springboard for his campaign, despite questions over his meagre record as a legislator.

Corazon Aquino led the "people power" revolution that overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, then served as the nation's president for six years.

Fifty million voters are set to go to the polls on May 10 to choose a replacement for President Gloria Arroyo, who is required by constitutional term limits to step down on June 30.

Support for chosen successor and representative of the ruling coalition, ex-defence secretary Gilberto Teodoro, remained at just seven percent, according to Pulse Asia.


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