Charm bid fails Gloria as trust dips — Pulse Asia

Charm bid fails Gloria as trust dips — Pulse Asia
The Daily Tribune

Despite a charm offensive called her legacy tour, the trust rating on President Arroyo remains at a dismal level with a record of nearly seven in 10 Filipinos saying they don’t have faith in her, according to a Pulse Asia survey released yesterday.

The figure of 68 percent of respondents who said they distrusted Arroyo is the highest since she snatched the presidency from Joseph Estrada in a 2001 coup d’etat.

The results came a day after the Supreme Court cleared Arroyo to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the May national elections, in a move many believe is aimed at trying to remain in power.

Arroyo is required by the Constitution to step down as president this year.

Also in the survey, an endorsement made by allies Arroyo and former President Fidel Ramos would likely be a liability to a candidate, with 52 percent saying they will surely not vote for a candidate Arroyo endorses, and 40 percent surely not to vote for the candidates Ramos endorses.

Only four percent of respondents said they will surely vote for an Arroyo bet while five percent will go for a Ramos candidate.

But critics believe Arroyo intends to become a congresswoman as a step toward having the Constitution rewritten to shift the nation’s form of government from presidential to parliamentary.

She would then seek to become the nation’s first prime minister, her critics allege.

A takeover backed by the military installed Arroyo as president in January 2001, replacing Estrada.

She cheated her way to a second term in 2004, but her nine years in office have been marked by allegations of massive corruption and three failed military coup attempts.

Arroyo’s popularity took a further beating when members of the Ampatuan clan in Mindanao she had supported were accused of masterminding the massacre of 57 people in November to eliminate a rival’s political challenge.

In recent weeks, Arroyo’s charm offensive included visiting influential media establishments and inviting foreign journalists to dinner at the presidential palace after snubbing them at official functions for three years.

She has also had advertisements placed in the press promoting her economic achievements and other legacies.

Arroyo got majority distrust ratings in every geographic area and socio-economic class ranging from 54 percent in Eastern Visayas to 82 percent in Western Visayas.

On the other hand, Eastern Visayans (17 percent), residents of northern and central Luzon (18 percent), and Central Visayans (23 percent) gave her relatively high ratings while single-digit trust scores are registered in Mindanao, particularly in all areas in Mindanao except Region 11 (five percent to seven percent), Metro Manila (seven percent), Southern Luzon (seven percent), Western Visayas (eight percent), and class ABC (nine percent).

Public ambivalence with regard to the trustworthiness of Arroyo is most pronounced among those in Northern and Central Luzon (26 percent), Eastern Visayans (27 percent), and residents of Region 10 and Caraga (33 percent) while it is least manifest in Western Visayas (nine percent), Region 11 (13 percent), and Metro Manila (15 percent).

Filipinos’ assessment of the trustworthiness of Arroyo hardly changed between December 2009 and January 2010, at the national level and across geographic areas and socio- economic groupings, according to Pulse Asia.

The only notable changes during this period are recorded in the Visayas where there is a 10-percentage drop in indecision level and an 8-percentage point increase in Arroyo’s distrust rating.

The survey also showed a trust rating of 70 percent for presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. and 64 percent for Benigno Aquino III while Estrada got a 33 percent rating.

Former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. received a 32 percent trust rating, Senator Richard Gordon (26 percent), Senator Jamby Madrigal (47 percent), Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes (50 percent), Vetallano Acosta (51 percent), Jesus is Lord (JIL) Movement Founder Eduardo Villanueva (53 percent), and Center for Alternative Development Initiatives (CADI) President Jesus Nicanor Perlas (54 percent).

For those running for vice-president, Sen. Manuel Roxas II got a 73 percent trust rating and Loren Legarda 61 percent, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay (44 percent), former Optical Media Board (OMB) chairman Eduardo Manzano (45 percent), former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando (46 percent), St. John Colleges Inc. director Dominador Chipeco, Jr. (52 percent), Jay Sonza (57 percent), and former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr. (58 percent).

Apparently bothered by her falling trust rating, Aquino yesterday belittled the survey.

“They are releasing the results in installment. That was reflective of the period when we almost have no advertisements, the ratio was 10 to 1. There are 50 million voters. And in the absence of information or knowledge about the person, you rely on the ads,” he said.

The LP presidential bet was questioning the survey results which tend to show Villar getting more sympathy out of the C-5 road extension project controversy as at the time of the research, senators were at the height of the debate on the committee of the whole report which effectively found the latter guilty of alleged questionable funding of the said project.

“They’re saying that the C-5 (issue) does not matter to Filipinos. We think that this is rather complicated,” he said.

The ProPinoy Project