Larry Gadon’s petition against SWS, Pulse Asia shows ignorance of their mandate

January 22, 2019 - 7:27 PM
Larry Gadon in a hearing
Atty. Larry Gadon gestures as he speaks during a hearing. (Philstar/File photo)

Senatorial candidate and lawyer Larry Gadon’s petition to stop Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) from releasing pre-election surveys cripples the polling firms’ objectives and mandate.

Gadon and the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino party on January 21 filed a petition to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that seeks to prevent the polling firms from sharing pre-election surveys from the campaign period up to election day.

The aspiring senator slammed the firms’ initiatives and accused them of releasing “bogus survey results calculated to mislead voters.”

He also mentioned that they are “biased” and said that other pre-election surveys “conducted through other means, by other entities and not by any of the respondents” offer different results.

Gadon claimed that he was in the Top 12 of the senatorial candidates in a “social media 2019 senatorial survey,” although he was not part of the latest results revealed by the top polling firms.

Pulse Asia saw him in 31st place while SWS reported that he only got a single-digit voter preference.

Meanwhile, he came in third on a social media survey posted by Cinemotion Digital Films, a videography company.

Public opinion part of democracy 

Pulse Asia slammed Gadon’s petition in a statement and said that it is part of their advocacy to share their relevant survey findings to the public.

“These results capture the disposition of the public on issues, and in the case of pre-election questions, their electoral preference,” Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes said.

“Across the last two decades, our pre-electoral survey results, particularly those done closest to election day or on election day itself (exit poll) were very close to actual election results,” he continued.

Holmes noted that the reported survey results stem from their non-commissioned surveys.

Filipino people
A crowd of Filipino people. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

“As an academic organization, we are open to a review of our survey technical details by other academics and those who truly know the difference between genuine and ‘bogus’ surveys,” he added.

Holmes also shared that they will review Gadon’s petition and present their answer to the COMELEC.

Pulse Asia is a public opinion polling body that was created in 1999 by professional academics who have expertise in their respective fields of study.

It dedicates itself to “monitoring salient socio-economic, political and cultural issues in the minds of the Filipino public.”

The polling body believes that “a periodic measurement of the public pulse is a key ingredient for creating a robust democracy.”

Meanwhile, SWS is a private research institution created in 1985 by social scientists in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, statistics, market research and other relevant studies.

Its surveys are designed to inform the public about social conditions and multiple social concerns, build a conscientious spirit and offer an understanding of the solutions to key issues.

SWS prides itself in upholding democratic values and establishing socially-relevant research agendas that are anchored in academic excellence.