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Pulse Asia Research Inc. is a public opinion polling body in the Philippines. It was founded by Professor Emeritus Felipe B. Miranda (M.A. Political Science, University of Chicago) of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
|Founder||Felipe B. Miranda|
Starting in late 2009, Pulsa Asia was accused of publishing biased or inaccurate polling, and of having close ties with Benigno Aquino III, who was elected President of the Philippines in May 2010. SEC documents and a research paper indicated that Rafael Cojuangco Lopa and Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco, blood relatives of Aquino, were involved in the establishment of Pulse Asia as well as Social Weather Stations, another polling group. Senatorial candidate Francisco "Kit" Tatad claimed Aquino was using these connections to his advantage, stating, "This suggests that there was a plan from the beginning by the Aquinos to control public opinion polling in the country."
In October 2013, Pulse Asia issued a press release responding to these allegations. They stated that Cojuangco and Lopa were involved in establishing Pulse Asia in 1999, but were never involved in the research work of the organization, and no longer have shares in the company.
Survey firms as "state propaganda tools"Edit
Political survey firms in the Philippines have invariably been accused of being politically biased, especially by politicians, when these surveys deliver results unfavorable to their side. In 2010, Sen. Richard Gordon sued Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations, the other leading political polling firm, in connection with his poor showing in pre-election surveys in which he was listed as a candidate for president. Gordon explained that "surveys serve no public purpose except to rob the people of their right to be able to engage in a mental exercise where they can gauge their candidate's capability. It is mental conditioning in no uncertain terms.". In the event, the court refused to issue the temporary restraining order requested by Gordon. During the actual presidential elections, Gordon received 1.39% of the vote, even less than the 2% the pre-election surveys had indicated.
Since 2016, Pulse Asia was also tagged as a "propaganda tool" by several anti-Duterte organizations and newspaper columnists due to its regular release of surveys that seemed to improve the optics of the Duterte government amid on-going crises and social unrest resulting from corruption scandals and gross ineptitude. This was ironic, considering how Pulse Asia was also earlier regarded (see above) as being linked to the previous Aquino administration, which Duterte had bitterly criticized. Despite the controversy, however, Pulse Asia has regularly delivered its Ulat ng Bayan surveys, even if these showed high approval and trust ratings for Duterte among Filipinos. Various hypotheses have been advanced to explain the continuing high ratings of Duterte in such surveys, including the element of apprehension or fear among respondents.
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- Holmes, Ronald D. (30 October 2013). "On the Ownership and Operations of Pulsa Asia" (PDF). Pulse Asia. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2016 – via Google Drive. Alt URL
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- Interaksyon (2017-10-13). "SO WHOM DO WE TRUST? | Beyond Duterte: SWS vs Pulse confuses Netizens". Interaksyon. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "SWS, Pulse Asia pre-election surveys are junk". The Manila Times. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Populism and popularity: 4 years of Duterte at the Philippines' helm". La Prensa Latina Media. 2020-06-30. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Fear can't be ruled out as factor in Duterte ratings – Pulse Asia president". Rappler.