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Aquino most trusted, appreciated official – poll

MANILA, Philippines – For the second time in his presidency, President Benigno Aquino III is the most trusted and appreciated government official in the country, the results of a poll conducted by Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated, showed.

Aquino is the only one among the country's top 5 government officials to sustain a majority approval rating, according to the Pulse Asia survey results released Thursday, October 1. 

Aquino registered 54% performance and 49% trust ratings in the Pulse Asia public opinion poll conducted from September 8 to 14. His latest numbers are practically the same as in June, when he garnered 54% and 50%, respectively.

Vice President Jejomar Binay – used to top the Pulse survey until the Senate hearings on corruption allegations against him and his family members – saw his numbers tank again. (READ: Binay approval, trust ratings tank anew)

The only other time the President topped the survey was in November 2014, two months before the January 25 Mamasapano incident, the biggest challenge to his presidency that saw pushed ratings falling to a record low.

During the survey period, Aquino opposed a proposed measure to reduce taxes paid by fixed-income earners. He also ordered the Philippine National Police to take the lead in EDSA traffic management, a role formerly performed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

From the last survey period to the latest, or from June 6 to September 7, among the dominant stories were the Iglesia ni Cristo protest against Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and the spate of attacks against the Lumad in Mindanao.

Majority approval, trust

"A little over half of Filipinos (54%) express appreciation for the work done by President Benigno Aquino III in the past quarter. The latter is the only one among the top 5 officials of the Philippine government who obtains a majority approval rating in September 2015," Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said in a statement.

Aquino registered high approval numbers in Mindanao (59%), the Visayas (71%), and Classes D and E (52% and 59%, respectively).

The same trend showed in his trust ratings – Mindanao (57%), the Visayas (65%), and Class E (54%).

He posted almost the same approval and trust ratings in Metro Manila.

Senate President Franklin Drilon obtained the second highest scores among the leaders included in the poll, with 50% public approval and a trust rating of 47%.

Binay is third – his lowest ranking in the Pulse survey on top national officials – with a  43% approval rating and 39% trust rating.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte obtained an approval rating of 32%, and a trust rating of  29%; and Chief Justice Sereno, an approval rating of 29% and a trust rating of 26%.

Endorsement power?

The President appears to have recovered from the decline of his ratings last year at the height of the controversy on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), and early this year after the Maguindanao bloodbath that killed 44 elite cops, 18 Muslim rebels and several civilians.

His trust ratings plunged to a record-low 36% in the March 2015 survey, but began to bounce back in June.

The ruling Liberal Party is counting on the President's endorsement power to boost the presidential bid of its candidate Manuel Roxas II. Party members believe this has helped Roxas catch up in the latest presidential polls following Aquino's endorsement in July. 

A survey of the Social Weather Stations showed a possible 3-way tie between Roxas and survey frontrunners Senator Grace Poe and Binay.

But a more recent Pulse Asia presidential poll showed Poe overtaking both Roxas and Binay, who were tied behind her. – Rappler.com