Leonen reminds voters that survey respondents are not ‘sovereign’

October 7, 2021 - 12:14 PM
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A "Count Every Vote" sign is seen on the ground as votes continue to be counted at the TCF Center the day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., November 4, 2020. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

The small sample of respondents should not be considered as “the sovereign” in choosing leaders, according to a Supreme Court justice.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen tweeted this on October 7 during the filing of certificates of candidacy period.

“Those who responded to small sample for poll surveys are not the sovereign. Otherwise, the Constitution should have delegated the sovereign prerogative to choose leaders to polling companies, not elections. It did not,” Leonen wrote.

“Vote as if your future depends on it. It does. Just saying,” he added.

The citizens’ right to vote or suffrage is stated in Section 1, Article V of the Principal Charter:

“Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage,” it reads.

In statistics, a sample size refers to the number of individuals or participants who represented a group of people.

Major pollsters the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia require respondents who are at least 18 years old to represent the voting population in their pre-election surveys.

READ: Looking at how pollsters SWS, Pulse Asia conduct election surveys 

While Leonen did not specify any survey in his tweet, SWS and Pulse Asia released two surveys on September 27 and 29, respectively, ahead of the filing of COC period.

The SWS survey which was conducted from June 23 to 26, 2021 showed the views of Filipinos on President Rodrigo Duterte’s running as vice president.

Most respondents or 60% of them perceived that such a move “violates the intention of the Constitution.”

Only 39% of them stated that Duterte should run for continuity of his management and governance.

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide. They comprise 300 adults from Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

His long-time aide, however, turned out to be the one who formalized the vice presidential bid under the ruling PDP-Laban.

Duterte accompanied Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go when he filed his COC for vice-president on October 2.

READ: Duterte withdrew from VP bid ‘partly’ due to recent poll results, says PDP-Laban official

The Pulse Asia survey, on the other hand, showed the most preferred potential candidates among respondents should the national elections occur during the poll period.

This was conducted on a sample of 2,400 representative adults through face-to-face interviews from September 6 to 11, 2021.

It also covered Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.