Press Release
October 25, 2015


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is fast emerging as the preferred candidate of young voters, with an overwhelming majority of respondents in a university-led online poll choosing her over all other presidential aspirants.

Santiago so far got 71.3 percent of some 80,000 votes cast and continues to widen her lead in the ongoing presidential and vice presidential preference survey in the official Facebook fan page of the state-run Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).

"The youth have always been my formidable allies. When I first ran for president in 1992, our campaign was fuelled by the hopes and dreams of young Filipinos who wanted reform. This survey shows that I can replicate that in 2016," the senator said.

Santiago's rivals in the presidential contest lag behind, with Sen. Grace Poe garnering only 12.4 percent of the total votes; former Interior Sec. Mar Roxas, 11.9 percent; and Vice President Jejomar Binay, 3.2 percent.

The survey was launched October 19, three days after the deadline for candidates to file their certificates of candidacy (COCs). The poll, hosted on Google Forms and posted on the school's official Facebook fan page, allegedly counts only unique votes.

Santiago's runaway lead in the online poll comes after her surprise entry into the 2016 presidential race, which analysts initially expected to be a three-way fight between Binay, Poe, and Roxas.

Santiago confirmed her presidential bid only on October 13, two days into the week-long filing of COCs. She was also last to file her COC among the presidential frontrunners.

This is Santiago's third stab at the top government position. "The third time is always the charm," said the senator, who is again running under her People's Reform Party. She is counting on the same youth vote that buoyed her 1992 campaign.

"The Internet has radically revolutionized the way young people think and how they affect their own families--their parents, their siblings, and the people who live with them," Santiago said, explaining that the youth vote should not be discounted.

"In 1992, it was the young people who taught the old people, 'Vote for Miriam because she's the voice of the new.' I hope this voice will be resurrected, and in fact will prevail in this elections," she added.

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