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Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar (center) shows her certificate of candidacy while flanked by son Mark (left) and husband Senator Manuel Villar (right). On Tuesday, Social Weather Stations’ pre-election survey showed Villar, a newcomer in the Senate race, as the fourth ranking candidate. PINOY MANILA
MANILA, Philippines – Half of the candidates that made it to the top 12 spots in the Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) latest pre-election poll are newcomers in the Senate candidacy.
Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, legendary action star’s daughter Grace Poe Llamanzares, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s child Nancy, San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito, Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara and President Benigno Aquino III’s cousin Bam Aquino ranked among the leading senatorial bets in the recently conducted survey.
Incumbent senators Loren Legarda, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano, meanwhile, respectively took the first to third places in the study with 300 random, representative respondents nationwide.
“The February 2013 Pre-Election Survey was not commissioned, and was done on SWS’s own initiative,” the local pollster said in the report.
Villar made it to the top four, followed by incumbent Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Binay, Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, Ejercito, Aquino, Angara and former Senator Miguel Zubiri.
Falling just below the “Magic 12″ determined by voters’ preferences within the survey period of Feb. 15 to 17 is another Senate race newcomer Cagayan 1st District Rep. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile, Jr. in the 13th place.
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Former senators Jamby Madrigal, Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay, Jr. and Richard “Dick” Gordon ranked 14th, 16th and 17th, respectively while incumbent legislator Sen. Gregorio Honasan took the 15th spot.
Current Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, who only placed 18th in the survey said in her Twitter account that she has already seen it coming.

Team Pnoy over UNA
Results of the SWS survey also indicated that most of the top 12 ranking Senate hopefuls are running under the banner of the administration-endorsed alliance Team Pnoy.
Leading candidates Legarda, Escudero, Cayetano, Villar, Poe, Trillanes, Aquino and Angara outnumber rival United National Alliance (UNA) frontrunners Binay, Ejercito and Zubiri in the Magic 12.
The coalition candidates including Magsaysay, Madrigal and Hontiveros supported by President Aquino, the Liberal Party standard bearer, are also generally leading all 33 senatorial candidates for the May polls.
UNA bets Honasan, Gordon, former senator Ernesto Maceda, former Tarlac Gov. Tingting Cojuangco and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, in contrast, ranked below Team Pnoy members in the survey.
Respondents were asked the question, “Kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon, sino ang pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto bilang mga SENADOR ng PILIPINAS?” before being presented with the list of candidates.

Read the original here: Senate race newcomers outpace veterans to ‘Magic 12′ – Philippine Star

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