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Arroyo least trusted among top national officials – Pulse Asia

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the least trusted among the top 5 national government officials, based on the latest Pulse Asia survey.

The former president turned Pampanga 2nd District representative got a "small/no trust" rating at 43%, way higher than the respective distrust ratings of President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who was serving as acting chief justice at the time of the survey.

The Pulse Asia poll also showed Arroyo only got a 19% trust rating, while 37% remain undecided.

Distrust towards Arroyo is also the plurality sentiment in Metro Manila with 50%, the rest of Luzon with 47%, the Visayas with 47%, and Class E with 45%.

In Mindanao, Pulse Asia said 41% of residents are "ambivalent" about the Speaker's trustworthiness. 

"In Class ABC, the House Speaker has essentially the same trust, indecision, and distrust scores (25%, 39%, and 36%, respectively)," said Pulse Asia.  

Arroyo's performance, however, was not rated in the survey, which was conducted from September 1 to 7 through face-to-face interviews.  

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted a little over a month after Arroyo's allies unseated Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker and replaced him with Arroyo on July 23. 

The controversial House coup delayed Duterte's 3rd State of the Nation Address by an hour. (WATCH: SONA 2018: Duterte cleans up but House spoils it)

The change of power in the lower chamber was made possible after Arroyo's allies joined forces with the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos. (READ: The women behind the fall of Alvarez)

Alvarez drew the ire of the feisty Carpio, while Marcos is embroiled in her own local rivalry with former House majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Alvarez's righthand man.

Arroyo, Carpio, Marcos, and several legislators later met for a "thank you lunch" at a hotel in Quezon City on July 30.

'Level of distrust diminishing'

Arroyo's office said she has "always been dispassionate about surveys." Still, the former president considers them a "snapshot of [the] people's sentiment."

"When she was president, she would not let surveys define her work. As Speaker, however, she remains focused and committed to what needs to be done at the House of Representatives to carry out the legislative agenda of President Duterte," said Arroyo's office.

The Speaker's office further said that in March 2010 or 3 months before the end of her presidency, Arroyo had an approval rating of 14% and a disapproval rating of 59%. The undecided was at 27%.

Arroyo's office then said that her approval rating rose by 3 points to 16% in July 2010. Still, her disapproval rating rose by 3 points to 62%, while the undecided was at 22%.

"After years of attacks and political persecution, the public approval rating of former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is on an upswing with the level of distrust diminishing," said Arroyo's office. 

House approval rating at 56%

Still, the House of Representatives got an approval rating of 56%, lower than the Senate with 63% but higher than the Supreme Court with 52%. The House's disapproval rating, meanwhile, is at 9%.

House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya said the latest Pulse Asia survey encourages lawmakers to "work double time" on legislative measures.

"The point of  governance, however, is the courage to do what is right without giving consideration on how it will fare in the opinion polls.  But more than approval ratings, there are more important numbers in the dashboard of social and economic indicators which we must focus on like trade numbers, deficit, the consumer price index, job figures, farm output, and many more," said Andaya.

"With majority approval rating, nakatutuwa lang na malaman na appreciated ng mga kababayan natin ang trabaho ng bagong House leadership (we're happy to learn that our countrymen appreciate the work of the new House leadership)," he added.

According to the Camarines Sur 1st District representative, the House approved on 3rd and final reading a total of 67 "vital" bills from August 1 to September 25. 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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