PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. AQUINO III as he delivers his speech during the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – Coke Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program Women’s Month Celebration 2015 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, MOA Complex in Pasay City on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO
Top five government officials fail to get majority trust and approval ratings
The trust and approval of Filipinos for President Benigno S. Aquino III dropped significantly compared to the ratings of four other top government officials of the country, the March 2015 Ulat ng Bayan survey results of creditable pollster Pulse Asia showed.
During the November 14, 2014 to March 15, 2015 period, Aquino’s approval ratings dropped by minus 21 points (38 percent from 59 percent) while those of Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon remained unchanged (46 and 49 percent, respectively).
SEN. PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON, center | Senate Photo
Approval for House Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte (27 percent from 34 percent) and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno (29 percent from 37 percent) also dropped.
Disapproval for the performance of Aquino also increased by 12 percentage points (23 percent from 11 percent) while that of Binay remained unchanged at 23 percent.
VICE-PRESIDENT BINAY, left, with President Benigno S. Aquino III | Photo from PCOO
Almost the same number of Filipinos, however, are undecided about the performance of Aquino (39 percent). The percentage of those undecided was highest for Belmonte (53 percent), followed by Sereno (48 percent), Drilon (38 percent), and Binay (30 percent).
SOURCE: Pulse Asia
Aquino also got the highest loss of trust among Filipinos (36 percent from 56 percent) while the ratings of Binay (42 percent from 44 percent) and Drilon (44 percent from 42 percent) were almost unchanged while those of Belmonte and Sereno improved slightly (five percent and four percent, respectively).
SOURCE: Pulse Asia
Significantly, however, none of the leading government officials were able to obtain majority and approval ratings for the first quarter of 2015, Pulse Asia said.
Pulse Asia conducted the survey fieldwork for the survey from March 1 to 7, 2015, using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 representative adults aged 18 years old and above.
It said the survey has a plus/minus three percent margin of error with a 95 percent confidence level while estimates in Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have a plus/minus six percent margin of error with a level of confidence also at 95 percent.
The Mamasapano operation and related developments dominated the news headlines before and during the face-to-face interviews conducted by Pulse Asia from March 1 – 7, 2015. These included:
- The declaration by President Benigno S. Aquino III of 30 January 2015 as National Day of Mourning for the fallen officers;
- The President’s absence during the arrival honors for the 42 of the 44 fallen policemen whose bodies arrived at the Villamor Air Base from Maguindanao on 29 January;
- President Aquino’s conferment of the Medalya ng Katapangan upon the 44 slain PNP-SAF policemen during the necrological services held as part of the National Day of Mourning;
- The conduct of several investigations to shed light on what really transpired in Mamasapano and who should be held accountable for the death of the 44 policemen;
- A proposal for the creation of a still another body – an independent truth commission – to conduct a probe into the incident;
- Amidst the unresolved questions surrounding the Mamasapano incident, calls for the resignation of President Aquino by several senior bishops belonging to the National Transformation Council (NTC), student groups and other militant organizations;
- The statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that it is not supportive of such calls even as it favors the creation of a truth commission; and
- The expression by several business groups of their continued support for President Aquino and his administration’s peace initiatives in Mindanao despite the events in Mamasapano.
SOURCE: Pulse Asia
Other developments during this period that are connected to the Mamasapano encounter were:
- The removal of PNP-SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas who was removed from his post on 27 January 2015 following the death of 44 of his men during the Mamasapano encounter;
- The resignation of PNP Director General Alan Purisima on 05 February 2015 amidst reports that he was involved in the decision-making process related to the police operation in Mamasapano whilst under preventive suspension resulting from a graft and corruption charge;
- Reports that disgruntled members of the country’s armed forces are planning to stage a coup against President Aquino in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident and expressions of loyalty to the Philippine government by high ranking military and police officers who say that they still have to verify such reports; and
- Military operations conducted toward the end of February 2015 by the AFP against the BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf in certain areas of Mindanao reportedly to reduce these groups’ ability to carry out violent attacks against civilians. The military offensive has resulted in casualties on both sides as well as the evacuation of thousands of civilians.
Pulse Asia said its pool of academic fellows “takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data.” Most important of all, “in keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.”
“Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” it said.