Philippine judiciary

Drilon ratings drop after PDAF scam

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Only President Aquino and Vice President Binay score majority trust and approval ratings among the top 5 officials in the country, Pulse Asia says

RATINGS DROP. The pork barrel scam made a dent on Senate President Franklin Drilon's ratings. Senate file photo

MANILA, Philippines – The pork barrel scam has made a significant dent on Senate President Franklin Drilon’s trust and approval ratings, the latest “Ulat ng Bayan” survey from Pulse Asia said on Wednesday, October 23.

Only President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay scored majority trust and approval ratings among the country’s top 5 officials, according to Pulse Asia. (Full results below)

Aquino posted a 79% approval rating, up 6 percentage points (from 73%) from the last survey conducted in June, while his trust rating is at 76%. Binay, on the other hand, had a 77% approval rating and a 74% trust rating.

“Public assessment of the performance of the top five Philippine government officials remains basically unchanged during the period June to September 2013,” Pulse Asia explained. This is due to the survey’s overall margin of error placed at +/- 3 percentage points.

Pulse Asia noted that Drilon suffered the biggest drop in approval ratings: from 62% in June, his rating went down to 50% in September. His “undecided” rating, meanwhile, increased by 9 percentage points, from 26% to 35%.

Pulse Asia said the pork barrel scam appears to have “adversely affected” public perception on the Senate President.

Drilon has been accused of being friends with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles after photos of them together were published in the media. Drilon said Napoles is a mere acquaintance.

The Senate President also initially refused to sign a subpoena for Napoles, going to the extent of seeking the Ombudsman’s opinion on it. He relented after his colleagues insisted on it.

The other leader of Congress, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, also had the lowest approval rating, at 37%. His “undecided” rating is even higher, at 41%, while his disapproval rating is at 19% – the highest among the top 5 government officials.

The survey was conducted on Sept 14-27, 2013, when the pork barrel scam involving Napoles and lawmakers raged and the Zamboanga standoff between government troops and members of the Moro National Liberation Front happened.

Good ratings for SC

Of the 3 institutions covered by the survey — Senate, House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court —only the Supreme Court scored a majority approval rating. None of the 3 enjoyed a majority trust rating among Filipinos, the survey results showed.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s approval rating also had a significant increase from the previous survey: from 37% approval in June, it is now at 42%, an increase of 5 percentage points.

Aquino got a boost in Luzon, where he got an 81% approval rating, up by 13 percentage points from 68% in June. He also got significant boosts among classes D (up 6 points, from 72% tp 78%) and E (up 9 percentage points, from 75% to 84%).

Binay’s approval rating was virtually unchanged from the last survey (78% in June, to 77% in September).

The other 3 top officials – Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno – posted approval and trust ratings 50% and below.

In the trust ratings of the 5 officials, only Binay and Belmonte had notable changes. Both suffered a 4-percentage-point drop in ratings; in addition, Belmonte’s distrust rating went up by 3 percentage points.

Drop in Mindanao

Looking at regional and class ratings, Aquino suffered significant drops in Mindanao, Visayas, and the National Capital Region, and among the ABC classes.

Belmonte, meanwhile, had a higher “undecided” rating compared to his trust and distrust ratings (undecided at 41%; trust at 34%; distrust at 21%). Sereno and Drilon also had trust ratings below 50%, but Sereno’s ratings went up.

In fact, the SC enjoys a 53% approval rating. On the other hand, the Senate scored 39%, while the House had a 37% rating. Trust ratings were even lower: 50% for the SC, 36% for the Senate, and 34% for the House.

Pulse Asia said the survey is based on a sample of 1,200 adults 18 years old and above, with a +/- 3% margin of error at the 95% confidence level. Regional results have a +/- 6% margin of error at 95% confidence level.

“Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” the group said. – KD Suarez/

Pulse Asia Research’s September 2013 Ulat ng Bayan Survey

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