Aquino rating still up despite Sabah issue


While criticized for his handling of the ongoing Sabah crisis, President Aquino continued to enjoy high approval ratings, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.

In the survey, conducted from Feb. 24 to 28, the President registered an approval rating of 68 percent and a trust rating of 70 percent.

The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 registered voters aged 18 and older. It had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points.

The government has drawn flak for its handling of the Sabah crisis, which has dragged on for more than a month as armed followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III refuse to leave the Malaysian-controlled territory.

Malaysia launched full-scale operations to flush out Kiram’s followers earlier this month, with more than 62 men from the so-called Sulu royal army and 10 Malaysian security men killed in fire fights. Hundreds of Filipinos have fled Sabah amid the fighting.

“Let me also state that the Sabah situation did not affect the approval ratings of the President,” Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesman, said in a Malacañang briefing.

Asked if the results of the survey reflected how Filipinos viewed the government’s handling of the standoff, Lacierda, however, said: “I cannot evaluate it.”

The President has been criticized for the loss of Kiram’s June 2010 letter to him over the sultanate’s claim to Sabah, his tough stance against the sultanate in Manila, and the government’s helplessness to stop Malaysian violence against Filipinos in Sabah, among other issues.

Back-channel talks

The government has employed back-channel talks with the Kirams, including Jamalul and his brother Agbimuddin who led armed followers to Sabah, but all these bogged down.

Aquino also directed Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs to draw up a “peaceful road map” for the Sabah claim.

In a March 2 phone conversation with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Aquino requested that the 800,000 Filipinos who had nothing to do with the incursion be spared from the violence.

To deal with the influx of undocumented Filipinos fleeing Sabah, the President dispatched social welfare and labor officials to Mindanao to provide assistance.

Lacierda said Malacañang was elated by the results of the poll.

“We are certainly happy that despite all the concerns, the people continue to repose their trust on the President. This is an affirmation of the governance of President Benigno S. Aquino III,” he said.


While taking the time to join his senatorial slate’s campaign, the President still gives priority to government efforts to resolve the Sabah crisis and other pressing governance matters, said reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

Pimentel, among 12 senatorial candidates on the ticket of Aquino’s Team PNoy, also called on the public to support Malacañang’s moves to end the crisis, saying the President had access to enough information on the matter before deciding what course of action to take.

Asked to respond to criticism of Malacañang’s handling of the crisis, Pimentel said Aquino still took time to attend to the Sabah problem even while on the campaign trail.

“When we were in Pampanga, he came up the stage then he went down and went to a special room because he was studying the developments in Sabah,” Pimentel told Inquirer editors and reporters on Tuesday.

He said the President also discussed the matter with his candidates in their private gatherings, bouncing off ideas on how to end the conflict even if there was “no active solicitation” of advice.

But Pimentel said Aquino should not be faulted for campaigning for his slate amid the unresolved conflict in the south.

“Governance is not only Sabah. Number 2, you can govern the country even when you’re not in Malacañang given that we are now in the technological age. So, the Sabah incident should not prevent him from doing other things. Campaigning should be allowed,” Pimentel said.

He also called on the public to trust the President’s decisions and course of action on the Sabah dispute.

Pursue Sabah claim

Saying he is not in favor of dropping the Philippine claim to Sabah, Pimentel has recommended to the government the formation of an expert panel on the Sabah dispute and the option of extending assistance to the Sulu sultanate in pressing for ownership of the territory.—With a report from Inquirer Research

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  • lapuk

    I will believe only if the survey will be conducted by False Asia or by Purse Asia…

  • Orna Mint

    Why should his ratings go down? PNoy is doing the right thing by stopping the selfish acts of the Kirams who are putting the MILF peace pact into peril and forcing thousands of Filipinos in Sabah to leave their livelihood.

    • PinoyPower1

      Right, to my mind, the kirams are puppets being used by some disgruntled individuals who just want to destabilize the government.

    • loclin

      His ratings actually went down significantly compared to November 2012, which was 78% approval, 80% trust rating.

      • FILIPINOpatriot4ever

        His ratings actually went up compared to January.

      • loclin

        Sorry, my bad. It did went up slightly.

        Thanks for the correction.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    The Sabah Standoff started in February but the death toll only started to trickle in by March. When the Sabah Standoff began in Feb, public sentiment was either neutral or dormant. This Pulse Asia survey does not cover yet the period of March, specifically starting Mar 02, 2012 to present, when the death toll broke out. The reactions in forums and news media since the beginning of March have seen a dramatic shift in public sentiment. CDQ and Randy David both tried to defend PNoy’s anti-Filipino policy and both were swamped with predominantly negative comments. Even PDI’s editorial castigated PNoy several times in March for mishandling the Sabah Standoff in March. It would be interesting to see how the March surveys will look like and how it will impact Team PNoy since PNoy is part of LP’s branding.

    Feb 24-28 period ==> Latest Pulse Asia survey coverage (does not include death toll)
    Mar 02 – Present ==> Start of Sabah Standoff death toll & public backlash against PNoy
    Mar 02, 2013 ==> PDI headline (inquirer,net/?page-one=page-one-march-2-2013)

  • Popskief

    Pinoy will always be among if not the best and most popular President of this Republic.

    The tragic Sabah issue will not change that fact. .

    • lostRunes

      The Sabah issue is INDEED a tragedy. Mishandled by the president by labeling it a “lost cause” and acting as a spokesperson for the prime minister of Malaysia.

      The president being popular will not change that fact.

      Do not make this about the president. Solving national issues is the only reason why we vote a leader in the first place. Do not turn the whole thing upside down as if the sabah issue is a stumbling block to a president’s progress. The nation’s progress is hampered by the president’s decision making skills and that is a tragedy for us all. No survey results can change that.

      • bbguevara

        Apparently 68 to 70 % disagrees with you. Suck it up !!! Only the usual critics of PNoy like you felt that he mishandled the Sabah issue.

      • lostRunes

        Yes the usual critics. Solita Monsod, FVR, Jovito Salonga, retired diplomats, people I talk to everyday. When he proclaims Sabah as a “lost cause” and turns around his position, and says we should seek a peaceful resolution to Sabah claim, I think “mishandled” is too light a word. I call it disaster.

      • bbguevara

        Solita Monsod , always bitter since she lost in 2 elections and never got a cabinet post.
        FVR, why did he not successfully claim Sabah during his term???
        Salonga, as far as I know is bed ridden now. The article from him was about his position paper in the 80’s on the Sabah issue.
        Retired diplomats, retired na nga, need I say more.
        People I talk to, duh…. same short sighted outlook.

    • PinoyPower1

      Definitely agree. PNoy will be among the greatest, if not the greatest president.

    • EOJ

      In my book, PNoy has the biggest positive national impact in recent years after Cory.

    • bryanbrian

      President Benigno Aquino III is the best!

    • kulittwit

      Kahit ano pa ang sabihin ng mga haters hindi magbabago ang suporta namin kay PNoy! Kelangan tuloy tuloy ang pagsulong sa tuwid na daan sa pamamagitan ng good governance.

    • GaggerAlert

      Ouch… what about Magsaysay??

      Read history dude. Wala pa sya sa kalingkingan ng achivements ng mga presidents pre-Marcos.


      The vast majority of Filipinos worldwide want PNoy to succeed.

  • lostRunes

    Kelan ba ako naniwala sa mga surveys ng Cojuangco owned Pulse Asia and SWS? Kahit bumaba pa ang ratings ni Noynoy, manipulated pa rin yan para tumaas sa next survey.

    Sa rami ng negative comments online at nakakausap ko araw-araw, feeling ko nasa 20% trust rating niya. 70% trust rating niya?

    Kahit sa 10 na tao, kahit dalawa ang hindi siya gusto, 60% trust parin ang rating niya. Really? So out of ten people, 7 still trust the president, while the other three are neutral about it, and no one distrusts him? Or another scenario, 8 trust the president, while another is neutral about it, and there is only 1 who does not trust the president? Kahit wala pa ang sabah issue?

    This is so statistically bizarre. Good job, Pulse Asia and Tony boy Cojuangco.

    • rodben

      Pag may mga nanalong Independent senatorial candidates ngayong halalan lalabas na pera lang talaga katapat ng mga paid survey company na ito….unlike in US CNN live count ang survey kya walang duda….mula Cory, Ramos, Erap, GMA palaging may sabit ang survey nila nililito lang mga tao…anyway that’s part of a business of elite peoples in Pinas….

      • bbguevara

        During the last election in the US, the survey firm GALLUP made a total fool of themselves by coming out with survey results totally far off than the final election results. As a result USA TODAY terminated their partnership with GALLUP. This is what happens when you manipulate surveys. So far Pulse Asia and SWS are coming out with credible results, to the satisfaction of private and corporate users, which is a true mark of a reliable pollster.

    • crisostomo_ibarra_the3rd

      Sa rami ng negative comments kamo? Ilan ba yun, 500 negative comments? How about the other 94,999,500 Filipinos who did not comment negatively? Tinanong mo rin sila?
      Surveys are surveys. Some people do not believe them. Some people do. Dont try to over analyze it kasi hindi ka naman statistician eh. Ordinary reklamador ka lang naman sa blogsphere.

      • GaggerAlert

        Ummm… I was wondering how the heck did you come up with that number dude?

    • Office of the Municipal Planni

      Researchers per se do their jobs systematically and scientifically. They will not risk their credibility because their dignity – which is the wholeness of a person’s being – lies upon it. Making accusations against the researchers without any evidence that fraud mars the conduct of their activity is unfair if not malicious – and no survey results can satisfy them but only those that conform with their opinion.

    • bbguevara

      So far sa 10 bloggers dito ikaw lang ang kontra kay PNOY. YOUR statistic is truly bizarre.

      • lostRunes

        Please… hindi counted ang Malacanang communications group dito. I know your group/s very well. Say hi to Coloma for me. Kamusta na ang buhay paid blogger? You should do it very well kasi taxes namin ang nagpapasaya sa inyo :)

      • bbguevara

        Sorry, Coloma can’t afford me. Just pointing out your false claims, which wipes out your credibility.

      • lostRunes

        I have already counted 3 bloggers na kontra sa presidente niyo.Just pointing out your false claims, which wipes out your credibility.

  • nes911

    Condolence to all pnoy bashers. This is not your day.

    • Dancing Bear

      I’m patient.

    • GaggerAlert

      Come on, we all know the story.. after all the bashing we do, nakakabawi lang mga Pnoy nuthuggers, when its survey time.

      So, basically, sa lahat ng kamalian ng ginagawa nya, nakakabawi lang kayo only once pag nag release ng suvey.That nobody really believes.

  • Dancing Bear

    SWS and Pulse Asia should be made to disclose the clients who paid for the surveys.

    • Johnny

      Tama. It’s a good law.

  • EdgarEdgar

    The Sabah issue did not come to the fore until Filipinos got killed. Filipinos got killed starting Mar 1. This survey only covers Feb 24 to Feb 28, one day before Sabah was turned into killing fields by Malaysia and war crimes came to public knowledge. It’s clear that this survey does not cover the period when strong condemnation from the people registered in various fora and editorials across different broadsheets and news channels. It would also be interesting to see how this do-nothing president and his senatorial line-up will do in Mindanao with the 14-hour daily brownouts. Meralco may have been asked to refund P73 million just yesterday but that will remain largely unfelt by most NCR residents as it is too small. Whatever election gimmickry Noynoy and his team comes up with will remain just gimmickry. Noynoy and his team are in for a shock and upset defeat come May 2013.

  • yesyesyo

    The Filipino people are now more discerning. They know that the priority of the government is the good and welfare not only of the 800,000 filipinos who live peacefully in sabah but more importantly the common good and general welfare of 95 Miliion filipinos at large.

    PNoy is right in prioritizing the national interest and not the interest of 300 warmongerers and blackmailers.

    • kulittwit

      Tumpak! alam ng publiko kung ano ang tama at mali. Alam ng mga tao na mas importante na pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng walong daang libo ikumpara sa interest ng isang grupo na mga manggugulo.


      The trapos are underestimating the mentality of filipinos. they actually use their common sense in dissecting social issues. they side with the logical and right actions. they know that the welfare of 800,00 filipinos in sabah is more important than the interest of the kiram family.


    Tama naman talaga ang naging mga hakbang ng gobyerno sa sabah issue. Hindi talaga dapat inuuna ang interest ni kiram at ng tatlong daan nilang alagad. Tama lang na ang pangkalahatang kapakanan ng sambayanan ang mas bigyang halaga.

    Tama si PNoy!

    • kulittwit

      I also agree with PNoy in further studying the sabah claim and not dropping it.



      • FILIPINOpatriot4ever

        Yeah! there is a proper forum and a proper way to fight for the claim. The legal and peaceful means.

  • Guest

    The article’s title is misleading or incorrect.

    It should be changed to, “Aquino rating still high despite Sabah issue”

    The Nov 23-29, 2012 survey from Pulse Asia showed Aquino has 78% approval and 80% trust rating.

    So the ratings actually did not went up, but rather, went down significantly.

    It is still high, though.

  • Guest

    The article’s title is misleading or incorrect.

    The title should be changed to, “Aquino rating still high despite Sabah issue”.

    The Nov 23-29, 2012 Pulse Asia survey showed Aquino had an approval rating of 78% and trust rating of 80%.

    So his rating actually went down (significantly), rather than up. It is still high, though.

    Ms Quismundo and Mr Burgonio, please do your research properly.

  • Johnny

    The survey was conducted from Feb. 24 to 28 too old and not up to date…purely rubbish propaganda.

  • loclin

    Ratings actually went down significantly compared to November 2012, which was 78% approval, 80% trust rating.

    • loclin

      Sorry, my bad. It did went up slightly, compared to January 2013.

  • amado_guerero

    This shoudl silence the arse hole even the bayarans here….bwahahahahahahahahaha

  • edleon

    Understandable because many Filipinos believe that Kiram’s act was foolish and marred with politics.

  • Brax82

    boo! bayad…kaya si kris gumawa ng isyu to divert the public’s attention!,,wag na iboto mga aquino! pls lg matuto na tayo!


    70%…^(‘j’)^ ??? …. aaarrrggghhhh……… o1o … TT… … kupal….

  • marionics

    e kaya nga iniignore na lang ang mga pnoy bashers dito e kasi ala naman epekto e. galingan niyo naman kasi. calling someone abnoy kasi e nakakakuha pa ng simpatiya sa kulturang pilipino hahaha

  • lostRunes

    Malacanang communications group up and running. Focus on the positive things about this government they say. Bring ‘em on. The number of dislikes will tell me how many of you are working on this particularly thread.

    1,000 pesos per day ba? Nice..

    Panoorin ko lang sa TV kung gaano nilalangaw ang mga LP rallies natutuwa na ako. Good luck Carandang/Coloma brigades; you have a tough job to do.

  • Dancing Bear

    Ask yourselves this, what if the surveys posted negatively on Aquino? Remember his reaction the first time they did? What was that his spokesman said regarding these surveys? Someone remind me please because I think he dismissed the surveys then as of no significant issue. But when it lauds them they use it till it’s dry. Malacanang has I believe them most successful and efficient media interaction.They practically have them in their pockets. He’s a media darling. Boy wonder can do no wrong. Smiley face.

  • Ngiping Dilaw

    Nilalangaw sa bawat puntahan yan ang katunayan na bagsak na rating as in super bagsak. Paano tataas ang rating ng nilalangaw sa lahat ng puntahan? KUng langaw ang tatanungin aba! SI PNOY! hahahaha!

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