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SWS gets back at Gordon, seeks P1M in damages

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SWS gets back at Gordon, seeks P1M in damages

Post by Justin_Romile on Fri May 14, 2010 9:03 pm

Poll firm Social Weather Stations (SWS) has turned the tables on Sen. Richard Gordon, suing the losing presidential candidate for questioning the company's reputation in conducting preferential surveys.

On April 22, Gordon asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 219 to stop SWS and another poll firm, Pulse Asia, from releasing election-related survery results, because they were allegedly "false and misleading." (See: Gordon sues SWS, Pulse Asia over election-related surveys)

The court junked the senator's petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order for lack of jurisdiction, but proceeded to hear his request seeking P650,000 in damages and attorney's fees. (See: Court junks Gordon's TRO petition against pollsters)

In an answer with compulsory counterclaim filed last Wednesday, SWS in turn asked for more than P1 million in damages and attorney's fees from Gordon, claiming the charges hurled against the company were "malicious."

In his injunction request, Gordon alleged that the survey results released by the two poll firms were "false, fraudulent, biased and defective" and were released “for pecuniary gain and solely for reasons intended to favor their moneyed clients."

But SWS maintained that "[Gordon's charges had] the sole intention of debasing the reputation of SWS locally and abroad."

The firm cited as legal precedent a January 1968 Supreme Court case, Lumber Co. vs. Philippine National Bank, that entitles a corporation to moral damages if its reputation has been besmirched.

Gordon, who currently ranks sixth in several partial unofficial tallies, has claimed in his petition that the poll firms' research methods were flawed, outdated, and unreliable.

Gordon accused the SWS and Pulse Asia of giving their respondents only two choices for president, namely Senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Villar Jr., currently in the first and third spots in partial unofficial counts.

Latest partial tallies by the Commission on Elections, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and GMA Network all show results in the presidential race similar to the ones released by SWS and Pulse Asia in their preferential surveys that showed Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

Calls made by GMANews.TV to Gordon's media relations officer Ely Maraon for comment went unanswered. — RSJ/JV, GMANews.TV
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