Maguindanao massacre case seen as threat to Aquino rating – SWS

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MANILA, Philippines—Despite the high approval rating of President Benigno Aquino III in recent surveys, the unresolved Maguindanao massacre case continues to pose a threat to his administration.

“People are becoming impatient,” Dr. Mahar Mangahas, president of the Social Weather Station (SWS), said Tuesday, adding that the administration registered a -26 net satisfaction rating on resolving the single deadliest event for journalists in history.

Mangahas said the government never got a positive approval on resolving the case, in fact, according to him, more people are getting “dissatisfied” with how the government handles the issue.

“It has always been negative. There was an increase in 2012 but last year, it reached its lowest,” Mangahas said.

Professor Edna Co of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines in Diliman supported Mangahas’ statement saying that resolving the case should come with institutional responses and could not depend on one single person.

“The long standing impunity in the Maguindanao massacre should come with institutional responses. The frustration of the public comes from institutions not with persons,” Co said.

She added that the negative rating of the government could also be a result of how the Department of Justice (DOJ) handles the case.

“The stability of our country will depend on how mature and stable our institutions are,” Co said.

Mangahas said that in a survey conducted by the SWS, 86 percent of their respondents said the speed of the investigation is “much too slow” while only 12 percent said the government is “moving at the right pace” and two percent said it is “too much in a hurry.”

The Aquino administration also drew negative satisfaction ratings in ensuring that oil firms do not take advantage of oil prices (-14%) and in fighting inflation (-10%).

The Aquino administration, however, registered “very good” in helping victims of disaster (+68), providing basic elementary and high school education (+67), defending the country’s territorial rights (+52), transparency in government activities (+51) and on foreign relations (+50).

It was rated “good” in helping the poor (+49%), promoting welfare of OFWs (+44%), providing jobs (+36%), and fighting terrorism (+33%).

It was rated “moderate” in reconciliation with communist rebels (+21%), reconciliation with Muslim rebels (+21%), and fighting crimes (+18%).

Meanwhile, it registered “neutral” ratings in eradicating graft and corruption (+8%) and ensuring that no family will be hungry (+2%).

Mangahas, however said, the +51 percent satisfaction rating of Aquino is the highest compared to previous presidents.

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