Sereno’s net satisfaction drops as impeachment looms

Bea Cupin
(UPDATED) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s net satisfaction rating, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS)’s 3rd quarter 2017 report, drop by over 12 points, from 21 in June 2017 to 9 in September 2017

EMBATTLED CHIEF JUSTICE. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno keynotes the 24th Philippine Trial Judges League Inc. (PTJLI) at The Oriental Hotel, Palo, Leyte on October 11, 2017. Photo from SC PIO

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno saw a two-digit drop in her net satisfaction rating as the House of Representatives continues to study an impeachment complaint filed against her.

Sereno’s net satisfaction rating, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS)’s 3rd quarter 2017 report, dropped by over 12 points, from 21 in June 2017 to 9 in September 2017.

The results of the survey were released Thursday, October 12. 

The net satisfaction rating is the difference between the percent of people who said they were satisfied with the performance of Sereno and those who said they were dissatisfied.

In the survey, 35% of respondents said they were satisfied with Sereno while 26% said they were dissatisfied. The rest were undecided.

Back in June 2017, 43% said they were satisfied with Sereno while 23% said they were dissatisfied. 

Based on the SWS’s classification of net satisfaction rating, Sereno’s rating went from “moderate” (21 in June 2017) to “neutral” (9 in September 2017).

SWS interviewed 1,500 respondents for the survey, taken from September 23 to 27, 2017.

Survey breakdown

The SWS noted this is the lowest that Sereno’s net satisfaction has dropped since she registered a -1 in December 2015.

The Chief Justice’s net satisfaction rating went down in all regions in the country, save for the Visayas. In Mindanao, it went down 24 points from +33 in June 2017 to +9 in September 2017. In Metro Manila, it went down from +21 in June 2017 to a net zero in September 2017. In Balance Luzon, it went down 8 points from +17 in June 2017 to +9 in September 2017. It was only in the Visayas where Sereno’s net satisfaction rating remained unchanged at +14.

“Double-digit declines in Chief Justice Sereno’s net satisfaction ratings from June to September 2017 can be found in both urban and rural areas, in all socio-economic classes, among men, across age groups except 35 to 54 year olds, and across educational levels except among high school graduates,” noted the survey firm.

Embattled chief justice

Sereno, an appointee of former president Benigno Aquino III, faces one verified impeachment complaint pending before the House justice committee.

Thus far, the committee had deemed the complaint sufficient in form, substance, and grounds.

It will next vote on whether there is probable cause to pursue the complaint.

If the committee, composed of 50 regular members and all ranking House leaders, finds probable cause to pursue the complaint, it will relay to the committee its report, together with the articles of impeachment.

All it takes is a one-third vote of the House to approve the resolution, therefore impeaching the Chief Justice. The complaint will then be transmitted to the Senate, who will try her.

Sereno’s camp has repeatedly asked the committee to junk the complaint, arguing that the cases against the chief justice are not impeachable offenses. This plea has so far fallen on deaf ears as the committee has consistently voted to move the impeachment complaint forward.

The Chief Justice’s relationship with President Rodrigo Duterte has been shaky, at best. Duterte has lashed out against her for her statements reacting to his claims and policies, including his war on drugs.

Recently, the commander-in-chief challenged Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to resign and, for some reason, allow the military and police to investigate him.

The Office of the Ombudsman is conducting a probe into the Duterte family’s wealth, amid allegations that the President has undeclared bank accounts. Duterte’s eldest children are mayor and vice mayor of Davao City.

Duterte also recently pushed for Morales’ impeachment, after she insisted that she would not back down from Duterte’s threats. – Rappler.com

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.