Binay ratings nosedive
Vice President Jejomar Binay’s approval and trust ratings have sunk to their lowest amid charges of corruption leveled against him by his political enemies, while President Benigno Aquino III’s insistence on transparency in government has earned for him the highest scores in the people’s trust and approval, results of the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.
The 2014 “Ulat ng Bayan” (Report to the Nation) Survey released Friday showed Binay’s approval rating dropped 21 percentage points, from 66 percent to 45 percent, and his trust rating fell 20 percentage points, from 64 percent to 44 percent.
It also showed double-digit declines in Binay’s approval and trust ratings across geographic areas and socioeconomic groups between September and November.
The survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents, also showed that only President Aquino obtained majority approval and trust ratings among the country’s top five officials.
Mr. Aquino posted 59-percent approval, up by 4 percentage points from 55 percent in September, and his trust rating slightly improved from 54 percent to 56 percent.
In the 16 quarterly surveys conducted before November, Binay’s approval ratings went higher than 80 ten times, while his trust ratings exceeded 80 seven times, Pulse Asia noted. He posted his record-high 87 percent approval rating in March and his record-high 86 trust rating in August 2011 and in March.
Speaker, Chief Justice
Pulse Asia said there were plurality sentiments toward the approval and trust for Binay, while a plurality of those surveyed were undecided about the performance and trustworthiness of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
On the other hand, a big plurality showed ambivalence about the trustworthiness of Senate President Franklin Drilon, it said.
President Aquino’s approval ratings ranged from 55 percent (September) to 88 percent (July 2010) in the previous 17 quarterly surveys, the latter being the only figure to reach the over-80 percentage mark. His trust ratings ranged from 53 percent (June) to 80 percent (November 2012).
Malacañang could not be happier, with presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda saying the “Filipino people understand that in the long term, the work that the administration and President Aquino [have] been doing for them is really geared toward their benefit.”
That Mr. Aquino’s trust and approval ratings continue to rise shows that the people have confidence in the President and his administration, Lacierda said in a press briefing at the Palace on Friday.
Asked if Mr. Aquino’s excellent grade could translate into public support for the candidate whom the President would choose to run for Malacañang in 2016, Lacierda said it would “certainly be considered by the Filipino people.”
“[We hope] the trust that the Filipino people have reposed on the President will be translated [into] trust [in] the political endorsement of [whoever] the President chooses,” Lacierda said.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is presumed to be the ruling Liberal Party’s presidential candidate in 2016, but he is so unpopular among voters that there have been suggestions the party look outside for another candidate with the best chances of winning.
That candidate could be Sen. Grace Poe, an administration ally who surged in the latest Pulse Asia voter-preference poll to overtake Roxas and land in second place, threatening Binay’s lead.
Mr. Aquino has always said he wants a successor who will pursue his good government and reform programs.
In a separate statement, Lacierda said that the “latest figures show the public’s continuing confidence in our administration, which from the beginning has endeavored to bring out reform and real change in the country.”
“From ensuring the inclusivity growth to coordinating disaster relief and response efforts, the Aquino administration has taken great strides in safeguarding the well-being of our people,” Lacierda said.
There are concrete benefits, he stressed, including more jobs and the “successive credit rating” upgrades for the country.
“Going into the next two years, the administration is committed to further building on the gains we have collectively achieved, propelling the country toward a future marked by true peace and inclusivity,” Lacierda said.
Binay said the results of any survey could not distract him from his work.
“No matter what the survey results now show, it would not distract me from what I am doing. I am the presidential adviser on [overseas Filipino workers’] concerns, I have tasks on the government’s antihuman trafficking and shelter programs,” Binay told reporters after attending the launching of a new hotel in Bangkal village, Makati City, Friday afternoon.
Binay spoke at the opening of Aurumone Hotel, a neighborhood hotel owned by former overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong and the Colayco Foundation, a group that helps migrant workers manage their finances.
“We should set aside politics. We are still too far from [the 2016 elections],” Binay said.
His spokesperson, Joey Salgado, said the Vice President was thankful for the “continued trust and support of the people” despite allegations of corruption being heaped on him by his political enemies.
“Vice President Binay respects the results of the Pulse Asia survey,” Salgado said.
“No amount of mudslinging will distract the Vice President from assisting . . . overseas Filipino workers, providing decent and affordable housing for all, and improving the quality of life of Filipinos,” Salgado said.
A Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is investigating charges of corruption against Binay, including overpricing in the construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II, which was built when he was mayor of the city.
He is also accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth, including an 8,877-square-meter real estate property in Comembo village, Makati, and a 350-hectare agricultural farm in Rosario town, Batangas province.
Binay has refused to face the subcommittee to answer the charges thrown at him by former political allies, among them his former vice mayor, Ernesto Mercado.
Senate, House chiefs
In the Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan, Drilon posted 47-percent approval, up by 8 points from his record-low 39 percent. His trust rating slightly improved from a record low of 37 percent to 42 percent.
The approval and trust ratings of Belmonte both went 4 ticks up, from record-low 30 percent to 34 percent and from 27 percent to 31 percent, respectively.
Sereno’s approval went up to 37 percent from 33 percent, and her trust rating slightly improved from 30 percent to 33 percent.
Results of the same survey also showed that only the Supreme Court scored a majority approval rating, while all the three government institutions failed to obtain majority trust ratings.
Approval ratings of the Supreme Court and the Senate slightly improved from 48 percent to 51 percent and from
40 percent to 42 percent, respectively, while the approval rating of the House of Representatives remained unchanged (38 percent).
Trust in the three institutions slightly moved, for the Senate (37 percent from 38 percent), House (34 percent from 36 percent) and Supreme Court (41 percent from 44 percent).
Binay registered marked declines in all geographical areas, obtaining lower approval ratings in the rest of Luzon (40 percent from 68 percent), Mindanao (49 percent from 75 percent), Metro Manila (50 percent from 61 percent) and Visayas (48 percent from 55 percent).
Likewise, the Vice President’s approval ratings drastically dipped among Classes ABC (41 percent from 54 percent), D (45 percent from 66 percent) and E (46 percent from 71 percent).
President Aquino’s approval ratings slightly moved in the rest of Luzon (54 percent from 46 percent), Visayas (68 percent from 65 percent), Metro Manila (49 percent from 48 percent) and Mindanao (67 percent from 68 percent).
Approval of the President also improved among Classes ABC (59 percent from 48 percent) and D (59 percent from 54 percent) but declined among Class E (57 percent from 61 percent).
Drilon’s approval ratings went up across all areas, ranging from 63 percent (from 44 percent) in the Visayas to 38 percent (from 35 percent) in the rest of Luzon. His approval rating also improved among socioeconomic groups, ranging from 55 percent (from 40 percent) among Classes ABC to 45 percent (from 38 percent) among Class D.
Belmonte also posted increased approval ranging from 44 percent (from 34 percent) in the rest of Luzon to 29 percent (from 27 percent) in Visayas. His approval rating ranged from 51 percent (from 42 percent) among Classes ABC to 25 percent (from 28 percent) among Class E.
Chief Justice’s ratings
Sereno’s approval ratings went up in Mindanao (42 percent from 30 percent), up by one point in Visayas (33 percent) and the rest of Luzon (35 percent) and remained unchanged in Metro Manila (36 percent). By classes, her approval ranged from 41 percent (from 38 percent) among Classes ABC to 29 percent among Class E.
Trust in Binay dipped across all areas, posting lower scores in the rest of Luzon (39 percent from 67 percent), Mindanao (48 percent from 70 percent), Metro Manila (49 percent from 60 percent) and Visayas (46 percent from 53 percent).
By classes, the Vice President also suffered serious declines among Classes E (44 percent from 70 percent), D (45 percent from 64 percent) and ABC (38 percent from 52 percent).
Across all areas, President Aquino’s trust ratings slightly moved in the rest of Luzon (52 percent from 48 percent), Metro Manila (49 percent from 47 percent), Visayas (62 percent from 61 percent) and Mindanao (62 percent from 65 percent).
The President’s trust ratings also went up among Classes ABC (57 percent from 49 percent) and D (57 percent from 52 percent) except among Class E (52 percent from 61 percent).
Drilon’s trust ratings went up across all areas, ranging from 56 percent (from 39 percent) in the Visayas to 35 percent (from 34 percent) in the rest of Luzon. By classes, Drilon’s trust ratings ranged from 49 percent (from 40 percent) among Classes ABC to 43 percent (from 38 percent) among Class E.
Belmonte’s trust ratings ranged from 41 percent (from 31 percent) to 23 percent (from 21 percent) in the Visayas across geographic areas, and ranged from 45 percent (from 37 percent) among Classes ABC to 24 percent (from 26 percent) among Class E by class.
Slight improvements in Sereno’s trust ratings were recorded across all areas (ranging from 37 percent in Mindanao to 29 percent in Visayas) and socioeconomic classes (ranging from 42 percent among Classes ABC to 23 percent among Class E).
The survey, conducted from Nov. 14 to 20, used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults aged 18 and older. It had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
Among the issues that preoccupied the country immediately before and during the conduct of the survey were: The ongoing investigation by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee into corruption allegations against Binay, who decided not to appear before the panel on Nov. 7; the reported overpricing of the Iloilo Convention Center, which was endorsed by Drilon as recipient of his allocations from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF); and the probe being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation into the procurement of vaccines by Health Secretary Enrique Ona in 2012 and Health Undersecretary Eric Tayag.
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