WHAT do Thomasians look for in a candidate?

A Varsitarian survey has found that most UST students prefer candidates in the May 9 elections who possess moral values and educational qualifications, as well as those who will fight graft and corruption in government.

The survey, conducted in October to December 2015, asked 1,366 respondents randomly selected from the University’s different colleges and faculties to rank six qualities of a candidate based on importance.

Morality was the most important quality of a candidate for 39 percent of Thomasians, followed by education (28 percent), government platform (16 percent), and experience (13 percent). A candidate’s popularity and his or her having “endorsements” came out the lowest with 1 percent each.

Asked to rank which issues they thought were the most important in the coming elections, 40 percent of Thomasians tagged the fight against graft and corruption as top priority.

Economic development followed with 20 percent; peace and order and good public service, 6 percent; poverty reduction, 5 percent; and resolving traffic congestion, 4 percent.

Scholarship grants, the environment, human rights, job opportunities, and the need to provide mass transportation got 3 percent each.

In the same survey, senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. were the top choices of Thomasians for president and vice president, respectively. Santiago, who has multiple academic degrees, got 66 percent; followed by former senator and cabinet secretary Manuel Roxas II of the ruling Liberal Party, 8 percent; and independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe, 5 percent.

Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, who is hounded by graft and corruption allegations involving construction and supply contracts when he was mayor of Makati, was the cellar-dweller, getting only 3 percent.

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Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, topped the vice-presidential survey with 29 percent, followed by Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo with 17 percent, Sen. Francis Escudero with 15 percent, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 13 percent, and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 4 percent.

Most Thomasians against same-sex marriage, divorce

Moral issues like the Reproductive Health Law and proposals to legislate “same-sex marriage” and divorce were the No. 1 priority of just 2 percent of Thomasian respondents.

Varsitarian survey results however showed that most Thomasians were against legislating same-sex marriage (47.4 percent) and divorce (50.6 percent).

On same-sex marriage, 31.8 percent of Thomasians were in favor of allowing such unions, while 17.2 percent had no response. On divorce, 31.3 percent were in favor while 10.5 percent had no response.

Meanwhile, 47.8 percent of Thomasians were in favor of reviving the death penalty, while 38.7 percent were against and 13.1 percent had no answer.

Most Thomasians, or 45 percent of survey respondents, were in favor of the Church taking an active stance on social issues.

No to dynasties

Results also showed that 37 percent of Thomasians won’t vote for a candidate with relatives in other elective positions in government, while 24 percent said they would. The rest did not respond.

Being a former citizen of another country was not an issue for 56 percent of Thomasians, an advantage for Senator Poe who was disqualified from the 2016 presidential race by the National Commission on Elections en banc on Dec. 22 over citizenship and residency issues. Poe however has appealed to the Supreme Court.

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Thomasians were also in favor of women holding the highest and second highest positions in the government, at 66 percent and 58 percent of respondents, respectively. Senators Santiago and Poe are the two women bets for president, while Congresswoman Robredo is the lone woman candidate for vice president.

The Varsitarian survey took place from Oct. 26 to Dec. 10, with 1,366 respondents randomly selected through a sampling method that involved stratified clusters. Paul Xavier Jaehwa C. Bernardo, Monica M. Hernandez, and Mary Gillan Frances G. Ropero

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