The only son of beloved late Philippine president Corazon Aqunio would have won the presidential election by big margin in the vote-rich Luzon region if it was held in early September, results of a latest opinion poll show.
Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino was already preferred by 50 percent of 1,200 respondents polled by the Social Weather Station, an independent survey firm, before he actually announced his candidacy for the president, local media reported Monday.
The survey was conducted on Sept. 5 to 6 after Aquino's colleague in the Liberal Party -- Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, son of late President Manuel Roxas, withdrew his presidential bid in favor of Aquino.
Other competent presidential aspirants, Senator Manuel Villar, deposed former President Joseph Estrada, Senator Francis Escudero and Vice President Noli de Castro, came way below Aquino by more than 30 percent in preference statistics, said the survey, which has a margin of error of 3 percent.
The survey was conducted in National Capital Region, central and southern Luzon region. Though it was not a nationwide survey, political analysts considered the public opinion in this vote-rich Luzon corridor a "good indicator of a candidate's chances," the local TV news network ABS-CBN said.
Aquino's chances only surged in August when millions of Filipinos took to streets to mourn the passing of her mother, former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino. She is considered a national icon of democracy as the housewife-turned-politician led the mass revolt in 1986 to unseat the country's strongman ruler then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
Despite Cory Aquino's six-year term being peppered with failed coup attempts, she is remembered for leading a relatively corruption-free government.
Political analysts said people have the same hope for Senator Aquino at a time when corruption is believed to have deeply plagued the current administration. But it is unclear if the nostalgia and the outpour of support at the wake of Cory's death could last until May when the election is slated to be held.