MANILA, Philippines—After a survey firm showed a drop in President Benigno Aquino III’s satisfaction rating, the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the Chief Executive should start addressing the demands of the public, adding that he sounded like former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in “dismissing” survey results.
Aquino reacted to the survey, saying, “Governance should not be survey-driven . . . We will push for what is right.”
“President Aquino is beginning to sound like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He dismisses survey results on his lower satisfaction ratings and says he’d rather be right than popular. That’s exactly what Arroyo said in the past and that became her own undoing,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.
Reyes recalled that Arroyo said in 2007 “she would rather be right than popular” when defending her fiscal reforms such as the value-added tax.
Bayan said that the SWS nationwide survey was done between March 10 to 13, a period before the term ‘noynoying’ was introduced to the public.
“[President] Aquino only has himself to blame. Even before the ‘noynoying’ term caught on, the public sentiment against the President’s inaction was already there. Don’t blame the activists, Mr. President. Look only to government’s performance,” Reyes Jr. said.
He said the drop in the satisfaction rating of the President could indicate that the people are not satisfied with the President’s excuse that he is helpless in curbing, or mitigating the effects of oil price increases.
“The dissatisfaction especially among the poor may increase as power rates rise, oil prices remain high, and wages remain depressed,” Reyes Jr. said.
Bayan said that Aquino’s intransigence on many proposals to alleviate the public’s economic burdens, including the removal of the VAT on oil and calls for a wage hike, may further erode his approval ratings.