Doc Willie Ong makes faulty claim on election surveys

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VERA Files
Last modified
Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 01:27
Photo of senatorial candidate Doc Willie Ong


Senatorial aspirant Willie Ong wrongly implied in a statement that voter preferences in pre-election surveys will result in actual vote count on polling day.


A verified Facebook account of Ong, a cardiologist, health columnist and former consultant of the Department of Health under Health Secretary Enrique Ona, posted Feb. 16:

Ayon sa mga Private Survey, mga 3 million votes lang daw ang makukuha ko. Pero ayon sa Independent Surveys, aabot sa 7-8 million votes na tayoMaganda malaman sa Mayo13, kung tunay ba ang Private Survey sa sinabi nila. Kung LALAMPAS tayo sa 3 million votes, ibig sabihin ay MALI ang private surveys na ginawa.” 

(According to private surveys, I will get around 3 million votes. But based on independent surveys, there will be around 7-8 million votes. It would be interesting to know come May 13 if private surveys are correct If I get more than 3 million votes, that means private surveys are wrong.) 

Source:, Doc Willie Ong, Feb. 16, 2019


Infographic: Willie Ong on election surveys

















While Ong did not define what “private” and “independent” surveys are, professional election surveys do not predict actual election results – they are a reflection of voters’ preferences at a given time frame.

The World Association for Public Opinion Research and the World Association for Social, Opinion and Market Research, international groups of public opinion and survey research professionals note:

Pre-election polls are expected to be accurate in their estimates of a voting tally or the share of the vote for parties and candidates in an election, especially if they are conducted close to the election itself. However, they should not be seen as predictions per se. They are instead a reflection of opinion at the time the poll was conducted. 

Source: WAPOR, ESOMAR/WAPOR Guide to Opinion Polls

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