Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan shared on his Facebook page today results of a survey reportedly by a group called Pulse Phil Survey that shows not only that he leads bitter rival Rep. Paz Radaza (74% to 20%) but that his council slate would sweep the elections 12-0.
The results by itself are an immediate red flag. For one, I don’t think Mayor Chan leads Rep. Radaza by that much. In the 2019 elections, Mayor Chan won over Boy Radaza, Paz’s husband who is less popular than her and a weaker candidate, by 54.41% over 41.83%. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Mayor Chan but by a small margin. The incredulous 12-0 sweep of the council by Chan allies is also a red flag.
By several indications, the survey is a propaganda effort rather than a genuine poll. Here are the red flags that indicate that to be the case:
1.) The release does not include essential data such as margin of error, sample size, sampling method, and even the dates when the survey was conducted. The graphic only indicated the date of release.
2.) Sample size. In a presidential survey result that it posted, Pulse Phil Survey indicated 3,478 as sample size. This is a curious number. Social Weather Stations (SWS) President Mahar Mangahas explained in an interview that 1,200 as sample size is enough to be representative nationwide. “Even asking (about the sample size) is a sign of ignorance and refusal to accept science. It is enough tapos. Go ask your statistics teachers na lang,” Mangahas said in an interview with ANC’s Karen Davila.
3.) Record. Pulse Phil Survey seemed to appear out of nowhere. There is no previous record of releasing surveys.
4.) The biggest red flag is on the Facebook page that issued the release. It is listed as a “Personal Blog” that was created on Oct. 13, 2020 as “Pagmata Sugbuanon,” renamed to Junard “Ahong” Chan on December 5, 2021, and renamed to Pulse Phil Survey on Feb. 16, 2022.
I messaged the page to request an interview to learn more about the survey. I asked for a phone number and the admin of the page asked what it was for. When I said I wanted to write about the survey and had some questions, the admin said, “We can have all your questions answered thru this chat.”
But when I asked about things such as their track record in surveys, the people behind the organization, sampling size and methods, I did not get a response. Will update this post if the page does send answers to the questions.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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