Senatorial Candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad formally asked the Commission on Elections en banc this Wednesday to enforce the Fair Election Act (Republic Act No. 9006) against Pulse Asia, SWS and other polling firms for not complying with the law’s provisions on election surveys. (See Letter to COMELEC En Banc HERE)
The former senator pointed out that the law requires polling firms and media organizations to fully disclose the identities of survey sponsors and to open their data and survey methods to candidates, political parties and the COMELEC whenever survey results are published or reported.
Tatad pointed out that Pulse Asia has repeatedly refused to disclose the sponsors of its surveys on the grounds that their contracts are “confidential.” “This is an election offense,” he said.
He also complained of the refusal of SWS to provide full information about its surveys, including questionnaires, methodologies and sponsorships, despite repeated written requests. “This is also an election offense,” he said.
Tatad said that the controversy over the surveys can only be resolved through immediate and decisive COMELEC action because the survey firms have become more brazen in releasing highly doubtful survey results.
He cited the unbelievable claim of SWS that it was able to conduct three nationwide surveys in the span of 28 days: one on March 19-22, a second one on March 28-30, and a third one on April 15-17. “This is impossible to do in our archipelagic and multilingual country,” he said. “Even one survey per month is a daunting task.”
He said all this only proves that the surveys are being manipulated for candidates who are paying for them. “All the contracts for the conduct of surveys should be disclosed so that the public will know who and what are really behind the surveys,” he said. #