MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is more trusted than former president and House Speaker Gloria Arroyo, the latest survey from Pulse Asia showed.
Carpio got a 33% trust rating, the 4th in the 5 highest officials listed in the survey, but higher than the 19% trust rating recorded for Arroyo, the ex-president who appointed him to the High Court.
Pulse Asia’s survey, which was done from September 1 to 7, also showed that Carpio is the least known among all 5 officials, with only 70% awareness. Arroyo, President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III have 100% awareness.
Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro was already appointed during the survey period, but according to Pulse Asia, De Castro “was not included” in the performance probe since she took her oath of office only a few days before the start of the field work for this survey.
Carpio was acting Chief Justice ever since March 2018 when Maria Lourdes Sereno went on leave until she was ousted and until De Castro was appointed.
Some of the Supreme Court issues that coincided with the survey are the findings of the House of Representatives justice committee that the impeachment complaints against De Castro and 6 other justices were sufficient in form. (The committee eventually junked the complaints on September 25.)
Duterte had also voided Senator Antonio Trillanes’ amnesty during the period, after which the senator filed a petition before the Supreme Court.
Pulse Asia did not include Arroyo in its approval ratings because the former president took over the Speakership only on July 23 or “just a little over a month prior to the conduct of the survey.”
The performance probe asked respondents to assess the work done by selected government personalities in the 3 months prior to the conduct of the survey.
Approval in Mindanao
Carpio got a 42% approval rating, the lowest score behind Duterte (75%), Sotto (73%) and Robredo (61%). Carpio’s 42% approval rating, however, is higher than Sereno’s who only got a 31% approval rating in December 2017.
Carpio, who hails from Davao City, enjoyed a 49% approval rating from Mindanao which is “near majority who have a positive assessment,” according to Pulse Asia. (READ: Antonio Carpio: The man on the bench)
“On the other hand, most Metro Manilans (57%) and those in Class ABC (52%) cannot say if they trust or distrust the Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice,” said Pulse Asia.
The survey showed that there is a lot of ambivalence over Carpio, who will be automatically nominated again to be Chief Justice when De Castro retires on October 8.
Carpio had earlier declined the automatic nomination for Sereno’s vacancy, citing principles because he dissented against the quo warranto decision that ousted her.
“Indecision toward the latter’s trustworthiness is the plurality sentiment in the rest of Luzon (43%), the Visayas (44%), and Class D (47%) while about the same percentages in Mindanao either trust him or are undecided regarding his trustworthiness (44% versus 43%),” said Pulse Asia.
Supreme Court ratings
The Supreme Court as a whole enjoys a 52% approval rating, which means “approval is the prevailing sentiment about the work done by the Supreme Court.”
There is a 10% disapproval rating for the High Court, while 38% were undecided.
The Supreme Court has had to battle perceptions of being aligned with the Duterte administration because cases of interest to the President have always won at the High Court.
The Supreme Court is on the spotlight for the following pending high profile cases:
- Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo
- Trillanes’ petition asking to nullify Duterte’s proclamation
- Petitions seeking to declare the war on drugs unconstitutional
- Petitions seeking to nullify Duterte’s unilateral withdrawal from the International Criminal Court
- Petition seeking to legalize same-sex marriage