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Aquino ratings slump signals downfall—militant solons

/ 02:58 PM March 17, 2015
President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The harshest critics of President Aquino in the House of Representatives said the slump in his trust and approval ratings in the latest Pulse Asia survey signals the downfall of the Aquino administration.

In separate statements, two solons of the seven-member Makabayan bloc said Aquino lost the trust of the public in the aftermath of the Jan. 25 Mamasapano debacle that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, 18 Moro fighters and five civilians dead.

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“The lowest trust and performance rating of President Aquino based on the latest Pulse Asia highlights the massive erosion of the people’s support to his administration,” Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares said.

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said the latest survey is “a clear indication that the Filipino people do not buy Aquino’s lame excuses on the Mamasapano clash.”

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Aquino has received flak for refusing to admit command responsibility and instead putting the blame on sacked SAF commander Getulio Napeñas who he said disobeyed his orders to coordinate with the military on the top secret antiterror raid meant to take down high profile terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

He is also criticized for authorizing resigned police chief Alan Purisima, a close friend, to supervise the operation despite the latter’s suspension for graft.

The police Board of Inquiry (BOI) also accused Aquino of breaking the chain of command when he authorized Purisima and bypassed acting police chief Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

While Aquino has ordered Napeñas to inform Espina, the SAF commander kept the mission to himself supposedly to keep the operation from being compromised.

Ridon said the latest survey is not the end to Aquino’s drop in the survey.

“His approval and trust ratings can even dip further, following the release of the BOI report that named him as the one who gave the go signal for the botched operation,” Ridon said.

Colmenares said it is only “all downhill from here and opens the possibility of (Aquino’s) key allies deserting him.”

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Both critics called on Aquino to resign from his post in the aftermath of the debacle.

“With his responsibility and accountability for… the Mamasapano incident, it would be best for him to resign and face the consequences of his actions,” Colmenares said.

“Mr. President, read the writings on the wall. If you don’t resign, you risk entering the most turbulent period in your presidency,” Ridon added.

The latest Pulse Asia survey shows that Aquino received all-time low approval and trust ratings since he became president in 2010.

From 59 percent in November 2014, his approval rating dropped to 38 percent in March 2015 while his trust rating fell from 56 percent last quarter to 36 percent this month.

“This is the first time the President has posted non-majority national approval and trust ratings in Ulat ng Bayan surveys since he was first rated as president by survey respondents back in October 2010,” Pulse Asia said in its media release

In a separate statement, militant coalition “Noynoy Out Now” is set to stage a rally on March 20 for the president’s removal from office.

“The latest Pulse Asia survey showing a 21 percent drop (sic) in the President’s approval ratings and a 20 percent drop (sic) in his trust ratings confirms our view that the President has lost the people’s trust and confidence,” former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, one of the key leaders of the coalition, said in a statement.

“This Friday’s rally will up the ante for his removal by bringing in more groups and a broader range of sectors and personalities all calling for his resignation,” he added.

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TAGS: Approval Ratings, Benigno Aquino III, Congress, critics, downfall, militant solons, Neri Colmenares, Pulse Asia, ratings, ratings drop, Teddy Casiño, Terry Ridon, Trust Ratings
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