Scrutinizing a Facebook-based survey showing Larry Gadon as top senatorial bet

May 2, 2019 - 5:49 PM
Larry Gadon
Lawyer Larry Gadon filing his candidacy for the May 2019 Senatorial race. ( Cagadas)

Senatorial aspirant Larry Gadon again claimed he is among Filipinos’ most preferred senator in an informal survey conducted on social media this April despite results from a top polling firm showing otherwise.

Gadon shared results of a survey initiated by Facebook page Ang Malayang Pilipino on May 2.

He gathered 7,013 votes and stood next to Bato dela Rosa and Dr. Willie Ong on the top three spots.

“Maraming salamat sa Ang Malayang Pilipino sa pag conduct ng senatorial facebook survey,” the controversial lawyer said in the caption.

Maraming salamat sa ANG MALAYANG PILIPINO sa pag conduct ng senatorial facebook survey. Mabuhay kayo! Para sa tunay…

Posted by Atty Larry Gadon on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

However, the April 10 to 14 nationwide survey by Pulse Asia that employed scientific research methods showed that it was Senator Cynthia Villar who was leading the Senate race with 51.7% voter preference. Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, is ranked a close second with a 50.5% voter preference as of the survey period.

The same results were seen at the last poll of Social Weather Stations (SWS) in January. Villar got 62% of voters while Poe garnered 60% of them.

Gadon’s name was not even in the much-coveted Magic 12 according to these results.

Details of Gadon’s sketchy survey indicated that it was conducted from April 11 to 30 on the Facebook account of Ang Malayang Pilipino or AMP, a blog that supports President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies.

Those who answered the poll were mostly followers of AMP and supporters of the administration. The limited sampling does not correlate with nationwide choices.

Last January, Gadon also asserted he was among the top 12 preferred senators based on a social media survey posted by Cinemotion Digital Films, a videography company.

He then accused Pulse Asia and SWS of the ones releasing fake pre-election survey results to the public.

Gadon and the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, even filed a petition to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to stop the two polling agencies from performing their duties during the campaign period.

Both Pulse Asia and SWS have the similar mandate of gathering the disposition of the public or where they stand on particular issues and events in the country such as the upcoming mid-term elections.

Rules on election surveys

The results that Gadon had been posting violate rules on election surveys based on the Fair Election Act.

In Section 5.2, it is stated that any person or organization may publish an election survey provided with the following details:

  1. The name of the person, candidate, party or organization who commissioned or paid for the survey;
  2. The name of the person, polling firm or survey organization who conducted the survey;
  3. The period during which the survey was conducted, the methodology used, including the number of individual respondents and the areas from which they were selected, and the specific questions asked;
  4. The margin of error of the survey;
  5. For each question for which the margin of error is greater than that of the survey, the margin of error for that question; and
  6. A mailing address and telephone number, indicating it as an address or telephone number at which the sponsor can be contacted

Moreover, the survey and the data gathered should also be available for inspection by the poll body.