By ROGER M. BALANZA
A Manila-based public relations man who said Speaker Prospero Nograles would win over Vice Mayor Inday Sara Duterte in the mayoral race in May has a tract record with surveys in previous elections that did not hit the mark.
Ed Malay and his outfit, Center for Issues and Advocacy also known as The Center, also has been disowned by former President Fidel V. Ramos despite his claim he continues to be the public relations man of the former president.
In Davao City, Malay was harshly criticized for the surveys he conducted that showed Nograles leading Inday Sara, the daughter of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
In contrast, collated results here of independent surveys showed Inday Sara beating the Speaker, 8-2, prompting the Duterte party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod to advise Nograles to give up the fight.
Team Nograles has widely played up the Malay surveys here as reflective of public voting pulse. Malay however has made himself scarce after it was revealed that his surveys did not have Inday Sara’s name. In the survey Inday Sara was a mayoral candidate carrying the name Sara Carpio. The mayor’s daughter is married to lawyer Mans Carpio.
In Alaminos City, Pangasinan, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Mayor Hernani Braganza laughed off the results of a survey by Malay, where Noynoy placed a “close” second to NP bet Manny Villar.
Aquino said the Malay survey should not be taken with any value, saying the former spokesman of Ramos has a tract record of failures in predicting outcomes of previous elections.
Aquino noted a survey by Malay had predicted in 1998 a “landslide” victory for then administration candidate Jose de Venecia Jr.
“It was Malay who said, with all due respect to Manong JDV, he will win by a landslide. So I hope Mr. Malay is consistent, if (Villar) is No. 1 that means I will be the winner,” Aquino joked.
“I don’t know him (Malay), I never met him, I don’t know if he has any ill will towards me. All I can say is he has not been consistent with the rest of the surveys that were already established. According to his detractors in 1998 he predicted not only Manong JDV’s victory but a landslide victory for him,” Aquino added.
De Venecia had lost by a big margin to then opposition candidate Joseph Estrada in the 1998 elections.
On the other hand, Braganza, nephew of Ramos said the office of the former president had disowned connections with Malay’s firm.
“Let me reiterate and repeat, the former president had issued a statement that he is not in any way connected with those surveys nor did he commission Ed Malay to conduct those surveys,” he said.
“Alam mo, mas genuine nga ang makita mo ang mukha ng tao pag kaharap ng kandidato natin. E yun e di mo pwedeng i-manufacture ang reception na yan. That’s very genuine; you can see warmth of reception and hope in their eyes when they see Noynoy and Mar. That cannot be reflected in any survey,” he said.