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Noynoy Unfazed by Cousin Gibo’s Surge in Surveys

LEGAZPI CITY-Liberal Party standard bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino acknowledged on Tuesday the surge in the latest Pulse Asia survey of his cousin and rival, former Defense Secretary Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro.

"My younger cousin's increase in figures in the latest survey, I admit, is dramatic," Aquino said.

The latest Pulse Asia survey conducted the first week of December showed Teodoro up by three points from his previous survey rating.

"But the increase is only in terms of small numbers."

He said it would be hard for Teodoro to build enough momentum as election day nears.

"He still has to catch up by at least 20 percent, and his showering of praises for the President would only lower his ratings."

"I believe majority of the Filipinos would not support somebody who belongs to the administration, considering the unpopularity of the President," he said, referring to Teodoro.

He said he was also confident that his ratings would not go down until May, "although they have been trying to bring the numbers down."

He said he would not experience what the late Senator Raul Roco had gone through in the 2004 elections.

Then, Roco peaked too early in surveys conducted months before election day.

"Although some surveys show my rating going down, my survey ratings relative to those of the other candidates remain constant."

He said they consider the period from Nov. 20 to Feb. 8 as the "dead period" or the most critical period that would tell whether they should go on a "full blast" campaign or not.

He said he was expecting he would build enough momentum considering that they were yet to visit other areas in the country.

But he also acknowledged the effects of infomercials on television.

"The infomercials could cause a reversal in the trends, considering that some candidates are pouring in money for ads, which I admit, have impact on election trends."

He also dismissed the survey trend showing Senator Loren Legarda catching up with his running mate, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas.

"That's a seasonal glitch. It's just the effect of name recall."

Aquino was in this city Tuesday with Senator Mar Roxas  and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo to pay visit to Mayon eruption evacuees in three schools here and in Daraga, where he said he would pursue relocation for the residents around the so-called danger zones in Legazpi City if he won the presidency.

"It would be impractical if we would rebuild villages every after Mayon eruption when those villages have been constantly under threat," he said (JONAS CABILES SOLTES)