Press Release
April 20, 2016


The rousing welcome from thousands of supporters in Davao City Wednesday made presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago question the credibility of "commercial surveys" that do not reflect the campus polls she has been topping.

"Gusto kong magtanong, pero baka ang sagot nasa Maynila. Bakit kapag nagtanong sa mga university kung sino ang gusto nilang presidente, the answer, left and right, is Miriam. Pero kapag commercial survey na-iyong binabayaran-ni wala doon ang pangalan ko? Nakakasama naman ng loob," Santiago said.

She was speaking before a crowd of some 1,500 supporters at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao, the first campus she visited in the Mindanao area besides Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City, the venue of the first presidential debate.

Santiago's U.P. Mindanao speech came two days after she topped a new pre-election survey conducted in U.P. Diliman. The senator was chosen president by 57 percent or 405 of the total 710 respondents in the online survey by Pulse.

She was followed in that poll by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, 13.5 percent; Sen. Grace Poe, 9 percent; Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas, 7.3 percent; and Vice President Jejomar Binay, 0.85 percent. Some 12 percent of respondents abstained.

Santiago has earlier discredited the recent results released by the two leading pollsters, noting that her supporters have reported anomalous survey methods, particularly the exclusion of her name in some of the survey questionnaires.

Her U.P. Mindanao trip caps Santiago's busiest week so far in the campaign. She jump-started her campus tour on April 13 with a homecoming in U.P. Iloilo, then visited Saint Louis University in Baguio City and the Bulacan State University in Malalos.

At the sidelines of the commencement exercises in Bulacan, Santiago also confirmed that she will attend the third and final leg of the Commission on Elections-led presidential debates, which will be held in Pangasinan.

"I would like to elevate the level of discussion there. Puro na lang siraan ang mga kandidato," she told reporters, referring to the ugly word war between the bets in the Visayas debate she skipped.

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