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Trust, approval ratings of Congress, Drilon slip amid pork barrel scam

Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2013 - 12:47pm

MANILA, Philippines - The approval and trust ratings of both chambers of Congress and of Senate President Franklin Drilon dropped by over 10 percentage points in a recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia.

According to the survey, only two of the top five government officials received majority approval and trust ratings last month with Drilon seeing a 12-point slide in his peformance score.

The survey results showed that President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay received approval ratings of 79 and 77 percent, respectively. The score of the Chief Executive actually jumped by six percentage points from his ratings last June.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno got approval ratings of 37 and 42 percent, respectively; and trust ratings of 34 and 40 percent, respectively.

The Pulse Asia survey said the overall performance and trust ratings of these four leading government officials stayed generally constant between June and September. But it noted that Drilon's approval score dropped from 62 percent in June to 50 percent in September amid the entire pork barrel scam controversy.

"It appears that the controversy surrounding the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) involving some lawmakers has adversely affected public perception of Senate President Drilon's performance as he experiences a marked decline in his national approval rating (12 percentage points)," Pulse Asia said.

Besides getting a lower approval score, Drilon also only obtained a trust rating of 46 percent.

Other than Drilon, the ratings of both houses of Congress also fell due to the alleged multi-billion pork barrel scam.

The approval ratings of the Senate and House of Representatives decreased from 53 and 52 percent, respectively, last June; to 39 and 37 percent, respectively, in September.

Trust ratings of the Upper and Lower House also declined from 51 and 52 percent, respectively, last June; to 36 and 34 percent, respectively, in September.

"The controversy regarding the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of several lawmakers appears to have adversely affected public opinion regarding the performance and trusthworthiness of both the Senate and House of Representatives," Pulse Asia said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court obtained approval and trust ratings of 53 and 50 percent, respectively.

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from September 14 to 27, a time when the alleged pork barrel scam still dominated the local news. It polled 1,200 Filipino adults nationwide.

On September 16, plunder charges were filed against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr. and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the scam.

Estrada delivered a privilege speech on September 25 in relation to the pork barrel. But instead of answering the accusations thrown against him, he alleged that other lawmakers received additional pork barrel to vote for the conviction of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Drilon, the finance committee chair during the Corona impeachment trial, has been accused of giving the additional PDAF as a form of bribes. He has denied the allegation.

APPROVAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE DRILON HOUSE SPEAKER FELICIANO BELMONTE JANET LIM-NAPOLES PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND PULSE ASIA RATINGS RESPECTIVELY SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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