Robredo, Sotto gain approval, trust of more Filipinos – Pulse Asia

Mara Cepeda
(UPDATED) Former Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remained the least appreciated and trusted top Philippine official in her final week as a public official, according to a Pulse Asia survey

STILL TRUSTED. Vice President Leni Robredo visits Senate President Vicente Sotto III after she personally appeared before the Senate committee on finance for the deliberation of the 2019 budget of her office. File photo by OVP

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III  enjoyed the approval and trust of more Filipinos in the second quarter of 2019, according to the latest Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey held in late June but released on Wednesday, July 17.

The Pulse Asia survey held from June 24 to 30 polled 1,200 adult respondents on their appreciation and trust for the country’s top 5 officials: President Rodrigo Duterte, who topped the polls; Robredo; Sotto; then-Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; and Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin.

Robredo obtained higher approval and trust ratings despite the allegations of Peter Joemel Advincula – more popularly known as Bikoy of the controversial Ang Totoong Narcolist videos – in late May that the opposition Liberal Party was behind an ouster plot against the hugely popular Duterte. The Vice President, the LP chair, had categorically denied these claims. 

Robredo’s approval rating jumped by 6 percentage points to 55% in June from 49% in March, while her trust rating increased by 5 percentage points to 52% from 47%.

In terms of geographic area, Robredo’s approval and trust ratings increased the most in Duterte’s bailiwick, Mindanao. 

Robredo’s approval rating went up by 11 percentage points from 52% to 63% in Mindanao. She  obtained the highest approval rating in the Visayas at 66%, a 9-percentage point increase from March, while her approval rating in Balance Luzon increased by 6 percentage points to 52% from 46%.

The only area where the Vice President experienced lower approval was in Metro Manila, where her rating fell to 34% from 44%.

Robredo’s approval ratings increased among all socioeconomic classes, topped by the poorest class E, which gave her an approval rating of 60% which is 6 percentage points higher than in March, followed by class D (54% from 50%), and the well-off class ABC (42% from 38%).

Her trust rating in Mindanao increased to 57% from 43% – a 14-percentage point increase.  Robredo is most trusted in the Visayas (58%), followed by Mindanao, and Luzon where she got a trust rating of 52%, 7 percentage points higher than in March.

The only area where Robredo got a lower trust rating was in Metro Manila, where trust for the Vice President fell to 31% from 43%, a 12-percentage point dip.

Sotto’s double-digit surge, Arroyo’s graduation grade

Sotto saw double-digit increases in his approval and trust ratings in the second quarter of 2019.

From 65% in March, his approval rating shot up by 12 percentage points to 77% in June. His trust rating also increased by 12 percentage points to 73% from 61%.

Among geographic areas, Sotto got the highest approval and trust ratings in Balance Luzon at 87% and 85%, respectively.

Arroyo continued to be the least appreciated and least trusted top Philippine official as she bowed out of public office, getting only a 26% approval rating in June, though this was a  4-point improvement from her 22% rating in March.  

Filipinos’ trust in the former president was at 22%, 3 percentage points higher from her 19% trust rating in March. 

Arroyo was to have gone into political “retirement” after she completed her third consecutive term as Pampanga congresswoman on June 30. In the last few months of her term, she went on what she called a “sentimental journey” to areas around the country that benefitted from projects pursued during her presidency.

As for Bersamin, there was a slight to zero changes in his approval and trust ratings. In June, the Chief Justice’s approval rating increased by one percentage point to 16%, while his trust rating remained at 35%.

Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said they are thankful for the results of the June survey, saying it will further “inspire” Robredo to continue her flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay.

Robredo camp’s expressed gratitude for the majority approval for the Vice President who, unlike her predecessors, did not have a Cabinet-level position. 

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa patuloy na pagtiwala at pagsuporta ng ating mga kababayan kay VP Leni at sa kanyang trabahong ginagawa (We  are thankful for the continued trust and support of our countrymen for VP Leni and the work she does),” said Robredo’s spokesman, Barry Gutierrez.

“Muli itong magsisilbing inspirasyon na lalo pang magpursige sa pagsisikap na makatulong sa pag-angat ng buhay ng ating mga kapwa Pilipino, lalo na yung mga nasa laylayan (This will once again serve as an inspiration, especially in her pursuit to help uplift the lives of Filipinos, especially those on the margins of society),” he added

The nationwide survey, based on a sample of 1,200 adults has a ± 2. 8 % error margin at the 95% confidence level, while subnational estimates for the geographic areas have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 5.7 % for Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

Among the other major issues in the country that happened during the survey period were the Chinese vessel’s sinking of the boat of 22 Filipino fishermen in Recto Bank, Duterte saying he could not ban China from fishing in Philippine waters, and the call made by 11 United Nations human rights experts for an independent probe into the “worsening” human rights situation in the Philippines. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.