SWS: Dissatisfaction with Aquino rises

The President's net satisfaction rating dropped to 49% in September, from 64% in June. Malacañang blames this on recent revelations on pork barrel misuse.

DISSATISFACTION UP. More Filipinos are dissatisfied with President Benigno Aquino III according the Social Weathers Station Survey for the third quarter of 2013. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – More Filipinos are getting dissatisfied with how President Benigno Aquino III does his job, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey shows.

From 12% of Filipinos who reported they were dissatisfied with Aquino’s performance in June, the number has risen to 19% in September.

Aquino’s net satisfaction rating for the third quarter of 2013 was at 49%, down from 64% in June.

On Monday, October 14, Malacañang blamed recent revelations on the massive misuse of government funds as the reason for the rise in the public’s dissatisfaction with the Chief Executive.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte insisted the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam happened during the past administration, although Commission on Audit reports on individual agencies show it went on under the Aquino regime. (READ: Admin solons linked to pork barrel scam too)

A Pulse Asia survey released also on Monday shows that a big majority of Filipinos believe that pork barrel misuse continues under the current administration.

“While an overwhelming majority of Filipinos remain supportive of the President and his agenda, we recognize that the increase in those dissatisfied reflects the depth of anger and disappointment of the people at the way public funds have been stolen,” Valte said.

“We share this anger and disappointment. No amount of clutter should confuse the true issue at hand: Public funds were stolen by elected officials and their cohorts in the bureaucracy and the private sector.”

Those who were satisfied with the President’s performance were at 68% in September, down from 76% in June.

RATINGS DOWN. 2013 third quarter survey results show a rise in dissatisfaction among Filipinos over President Aquino's performance. Table from SWS

The survey was conducted from September 20-23, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, according to the study.

Respondents were asked: “Please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are in the performance of Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines. Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, undecided if satisfied or dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, or you have not ever heard or read anything about Benigno Aquino III?”

‘Most significant fight’

Valte called the challenge to prosecute those who allegedly pocketed public funds as the Aquino administration’s “most significant fight yet.” She also gave assurances the Palace will continue and intensify its “pursuit of justice” as the government gathered more evidence.

“Those who have wronged us will be held accountable. Those who wish to bring us back to the old ways will not succeed,” she said.

The pork barrel scam was first reported by news outlets in July, and confirmed by a special Commission on Audit (COA) report covering the years 2007-2009.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has since filed plunder cases with the Ombudsman against those allegedly involved. Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the scam, is accused of conniving with lawmakers to channel their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to her bogus non-government organizations in exchange for hefty kickbacks.

Napoles faces plunder charges with 37 others, including 3 senators namely Sen Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen Bong Revilla, and Sen Jinggoy Estrada, and several former congressman in relation to the misuse of pork barrel funds.

Napoles also faces a separate plunder charge for allegedly pocketing P900 million from the Malampaya Fund, along with former heads of government agencies and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto Domingo in Laguna for separate charges of serious illegal detention. – Rappler.com

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