Villanueva, Aquino neck-and-neck in first results of HK polls

Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III and religious leader Eddie Villanueva are in a close race to the presidency in the early results of the 2010 overseas absentee voting in Hong Kong for the national elections in the Philippines.

An exit poll conducted by The Sun on the first Sunday of voting on Apr. 11, when a total of 2,901 Filipinos cast their votes, show only four votes separating the two.

Of a total of 1,096 voters polled, Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas (BP) is ahead with 396 votes or 36.13 percent; with Aquino of Liberal Party (LP) having 392 votes or 35.7 percent.

A relatively distant third is Manny Villar of Nacionalista Party (NP) with 204 votes, or 18.6 percent.

The rest of the presidential candidates received only marginal support: Joseph Estrada of Pwersa ng Masa ng Pilipinas (PMP) had 34 votes; Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi-CMD (Lakas) with 26; Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan-VNP (B. Bayan) with 22; and Jamby Madrigal (Independent) with 2. Two other candidates, JC de los Reyes of Ang Kasangga Party (AKP) and Jesus Perlas (Independent), did not get a single vote.

In the vice presidential race, Aquino’s running-mate, Mar Roxas, slightly edged out Perfecto Yasay of BP. Roxas received 326 votes, or 30.2 percent, while Yasay was just 1 vote down at 325, or 29.6 percent.

Third in the race was Villar’s running mate, Loren Legarda, with 198 votes, or 18 percent.

A big number of those polled–157 _ voted for a president, but not for a vice-president.

The results appear to indicate that a big number of the early voters were from the Jesus is Lord (JIL) church which Villanueva heads, and that most of them did block-voting.

This was again reflected in the result of the senatorial race, where Bangon candidates dominated.

Surprisingly, however, the early leaders in the senatorial contest were not the Bangon candidates but those supported by progressive groups.

Topping the list was Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna, and also guest candidate of NP, who received 248 or 22.6 percent of the votes; a close second was Liza Maza of Gabriela who is likewise in the NP ticket, with 221 or 20.5 percent.

Their strong showing indicates the groups that supported them chose not to toe the party line and dropped the standard-bearer, Villar from their list of preferred candidates.

The next five names in the list are all from Bangon, or are Bangon-supported candidates: Katherine “Kata” Inocencio with 215 votes, Israel Virgines with 180, Zafrullah Alonto with 179, Reynaldo Princesa with 178, and Alex Tinsay with 177.

Making it to number eight was Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos of NP, with 173 votes; while tied at ninth place were Jinggoy Estrada of PMP and Adz Nikabulin of Bangon, both with 167.

Tenth in the list is Ramon “Bong” Revilla of Lakas with 163 votes, and rounding up the so-called magic 12 in the senatorial race was Franklin Drilon of LP with 159 votes.

In the party-list race, the progressive group’s choice, Gabriela, was ahead with 257 votes, while Bangon affiliate, CIBAC, had 180. A far third was Agham, with 54 votes.

With more than three weeks to go still in the OAV, the results could still change. Several candidates or groups with local support could choose the next few remaining Sundays to vote en masse and try to change the outcome.

But whatever the result, the Filipino community here could be expected to ensure that it is a true reflection of their will.

The Sun’s exit poll will continue through all the remaining four Sundays of the OAV.
By The Sun Team
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