76% of Pinoys distrust and junk GMA performance

February 29, 2008

President Arroyo is not just the “most corrupt Philippine president” ever. She is also the most distrusted Chief Executive by far, as the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted in Metro Manila from Feb. 21 to 24 showed that 76 percent of Metro Manilans distrust both Mrs. Arroyo and her spouse, Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, along with 71 percent disapproving of her and her performance in the presidential office.

The President in the latest survey registered big majority disapproval and distrust ratings in the metropolis, Pulse Asia said in its media release yesterday.

In the midst of controversies hounding the incumbent Arroyo administration, around three in four Metro Manilans (71 percent) expressed strong disapproval of her performance in office while 76 percent expressed distrust of Mrs. Arroyo and her husband, who is currently mired in the controversy over the scandal-tainted and kickback-laden $329-million ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) project, now being probed by the Senate.

In her performance ratings based on demographics, Mrs. Arroyo has only 5 percent in the class E, the poorest in the socio-economic class, approving of her performance, with 80 percent disapproving of her performance in Malacañang.

The D class has a mere 9 percent approving of her with 73 percent thumbing down her performance. Class ABC gave her an approval rating measured at 16 percent, with 64 percent of the same class disapproving of her performance.

The numbers are higher in distrust ratings of Mrs. Arroyo in the ABC, D and E groupings.

The survey also showed that the public has given the opposition senators the thumbs-up on their performance which includes the manner by which they have been handling the probe. All opposition senators garnered big majorities in performance ratings. Administration senators all fell short in the ratings.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero topped the performance ratings with an 83 percent approval rating, followed by

Loren Legarda, with 77 percent; Panfilo Ping Lacson, with 70 percent, Francis Pangilinan, with 68 percent; Jinggoy Estrada and Alan Peter Cayetano, tied at 6th place with a rating of 65 percent; Benigno Aquino lll, with 61 percent; Manuel Roxas, with 60 percent, Antonio Trillanes with 58 percent and Aquilino Pimentel, with 58 percent.

None of the administration candidates garnered a majority vote, with Sen. Richard Gordon obtaining 47 percent; Juan Ponce Enrile, at 45 percent; Miriam Defensor Santiago at 43 percent, Edgardo Angara at 41 percent; Joker Arroyo at 32 percent and the worst was Juan Miguel Zubiri, obtaining a mere 25 percent of the vote.

The distrust and trust figures obtained by Mrs. Arroyo are essentially the same as those obtained by her back in July 2005 (68 percent and 72 percent) during which time 10 members of her Cabinet resigned and various groups and individuals called for her to step down from office at the height of the Garcillano wiretapping issue.

Nearly one in five Metro Manilans (18 percent) cannot say if he approves or disapproves of Mrs. Arroyo’s performance in the last three months while the rest (11 percent) is appreciative of her performance, which is a very small number.

Also public ambivalence on the matter of trusting or distrusting the President is expressed by 17 percent of Metro Manilans while only 6 percent expressed trust in her.

The movements in the President’s approval and indecision ratings (both at -10 percentage points) between October 2007 and February 2008 are well within the survey’s error margin of +/- 6 percentage points. However, the combined effect of these marginal movements translates to a 20-percentage point increase in Mrs. Arroyo’s disapproval rating during this period. Pulse Asia said the same pattern may be observed with respect to presidential trust ratings in Metro Manila with levels of public trust and indecision moving within error margins (-12 and -11 percentage points, respectively) while the level of public distrust zoomed by 22 percentage points between October 2007 and February 2008.

As stated, Metro Manilans are more appreciative of the performance of opposition senators than pro-administration senators Virtually all of the senators who scored majority approval ratings in February 2008 belong to the political opposition.

The average ratings of all 18 senators performance-rated in this survey are 56 percent for approval, 26 percent for indecision, and 18 percent for disapproval.

Between October 2007 and February 2008, the only marked movements in the ratings of these lawmakers are the: (1) 16 percentage point drop in the level of public appreciation for Senator Roxas’ performance; (2) 17 percentage point erosion in Senate

President Villar’s approval rating; and (3) 23 percentage point decline in approval and 17 percentage point rise in disapproval for the work done by Senator Arroyo.

Almost all Metro Manilans are aware of the ZTE-NBN issue; Engr. Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. is the most trusted and is considered to be the most credible among selected personalities embroiled in the controversy Virtually all Metro Manila residents (97 percent) are aware of the ZTE-NBN issue with 81 percent reporting having heard/read of the issue many times over and 16 percent saying they have heard/read of the issue several times already. Additionally, almost all (96 percent ) are aware of Lozada’s testimony before the Senate in connection with the latter’s investigation into the matter of the alleged anomalies surrounding the broadband network project.

Among the six (6) personalities involved in the ZTE-NBN issue who are trusted as rated in this survey, only Lozada managed to score a majority trust rating, albeit a small one (52 percent). For four other individuals, public distrust is the most predominant sentiment among Metro Manilans with small to big majorities distrusting former Neda Secretary Romulo L. Neri (57 percent), former poll chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr. (69 percent), The presidential spouses at 76 percent. In contrast, ambivalence is the most notable public sentiment in the case of deposed Speaker Jose de Venecia III with 42 percent of Metro Manilans unable to say if they trust or distrust him.

On Lozada’s credibility as a Senate witness, around two in every three Metro Manilans (65 percent ) consider him to be credible while only 6 percentbelieve otherwise and 28 percent are undecided on the matter. And among four individuals who have testified before the Senate on the reported overpricing and bribery attempts in connection with the ZTE-NBN contract, Lozada is viewed by Metro Manilans (65 percent) as being the most believable while 22 percent say all four – Lozada, Joey de Venecia III, Neri, and Abalos – are equally not believable. Less than one in 10 Metro Manilans considers De Venecia III (8 percent), Neri (2 percent) and Abalos (2 percent) to be the most believable among these individuals. Across socio-economic classes, a considerable majority (65 percent think Lozada makes for a credible Senate witness and nearly the same percentages (62 percent to 70 percent) see him as the most believable among these selected personalities involved in the ZTE-NBN issue.




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