Initial Poll Results Show ‘Catholic Vote’ had Little Effect on Votes

May 15, 2013 4:52pm

If the initial results of the May 2013 elections are any indication, the so-called Catholic vote did not make a noticeable impact on the polls.

Partial and unofficial results as of Wednesday show that only six out of the ten candidates endorsed by the Catholic-backed White Vote Movement have made it to the top 12 so far.

The movement had endorsed the candidacies of Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Marwil Llasos, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, and Miguel Zubiri.

However, only Binay, Ejercito, Honasan, Pimentel, Trillanes, and Villar seem poised to get Senate seats—and all of them had ranked highly in the surveys even before they were endorsed by the movement.

These five were the same senatorial candidates who were branded as “Team Buhay” by several Catholic churches nationwide for going against the Reproductive Health (RH) law, along with Mitos Magsaysay, who has been lagging in the tally.

But four out of the seven candidates who were branded as “Team Patay” for supporting the RH law are likewise doing well: Sonny Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, and Loren Legarda.

They were also ranking highly in the surveys before they were branded part of “Team Patay”.

The three who are not doing so well—Teddy Casiño, Jack Enrile, and Risa Hontiveros—were already ranking lower in the polls before being declared part of “Team Patay.”

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, former vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, had earlier urged faithful Catholics to choose pro-life candidates in the May 2013 polls.

“Kaya kapag mayroong kandidato na hindi sumusunod sa utos ng Diyos, dapat tanggihan yung mga ‘yun. At kailangan na magkaroon ngayon ng Catholic vote. Dapat ipakita natin ang pagiging tunay na Katoliko. Marami diyan ay mga pekeng Katoliko, yun ang naghahari sa atin,” he said.

But even before the campaign period began, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had already said that the so-called Catholic vote is fiction.

“In the past, the Catholic Church campaigned against Sen. Juan Flavier because as Health secretary, he freely distributed condoms. But Flavier won the elections. Thus, the so-called Catholic vote is a political myth,” she said.

Political analyst Ramon Casiple at the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms also denied the existence of a Catholic vote.

“There is none, definitely, if you are talking of a national vote,” he said, noting that former President Joseph Estrada won by landslide in 1998 despite the fact that many Church officials campaigned against him.

Other endorsements

Unlike the Catholic endorsement, that of bloc-voting sect Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) seemed to have produced more noticeable results.

Out of the 12 endorsed by INC, 10 seemed poised to get Senate seats: Angara, Bam Aquino, Cayetano, Legarda, Trillanes, Grace Poe, Villar, Binay, Ejercito, and Honasan.

Enrile and Richard Gordon, who were also endorsed by INC, have not yet made it into the 12 but are trailing closely.

But it should also be noted that all of those endorsed by the INC have been ranking in pre-election surveys as well.

The INC has an estimated 5 to 8 million votes.

Meanwhile, six out of the seven endorsed by the RH-backed Purple Vote have been making it to the top 12.

Among them are Angara, Aquino, Cayetano, Escudero, Legarda, and Poe. Hontiveros, as mentioned, has yet to break into the winning circle.

While bloc voting’s contribution to a candidate’s victory is still debatable, an analysis of the GMA election tally in 2010 showed it apparently worked. — Kimberly Jane Tan/BM, GMA News



5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by wwwellfight on May 16, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’m so glad that Loren is still on the top.. eventhough she’s not in number 1 spot.. still she has the support of our countrymen. she deserves it.


  2. Posted by carmelo_7Kn on May 16, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I congratulate Loren Legarda.. It’s good to know shes in the senate again


  3. Posted by levi23232 on May 16, 2013 at 12:58 am

    mabuti naman si loren ay nasa senado ulit.. at mataas padin ang numbers ng bumoto sa kanya 😉


  4. Posted by lorenz000 on May 16, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Iglesia ni Cristo ako,.. kay loren ako at kay angara


  5. Posted by kamias22 on May 16, 2013 at 1:33 am

    congratulations to loren legarda! our country still needs you


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