Just being polite
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

Among the news in The Philippine STAR last Friday was a report on a Social Weather Stations survey that gave Vice President Leni Rebredo a net satisfaction rating of +18 for her 18-day stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. The rating was derived from the 44% of 1,200 respondents who were satisfied, 26% who were not, and 30% who could not make up their minds.

SWS describes a net satisfaction rating of just +18 as moderate. I would call it just being polite. The truth of the matter is, Robredo accomplished nothing in her 18 days as co-chairperson of ICAD. Not that others could given the same time frame. The point is, we are no gods who can make the world and everything in it in just six days. Even allowing for human frailty, 18 days are simply too short for anyone to do anything.

It was, therefore, a skewed survey based on a skewed premise, and one that was not just unfair to Robredo but unjust as well to the respondents who, without any real basis to make an informed judgment, were probably forced to make a wild guess or worse, come up with a lie. The +18 net satisfaction rating SWS gave Robredo was, therefore, a polite way of saying duh, dunno.

Other survey-takers would probably not bother to undertake a poll on such a constricted timeframe in the hope of scrounging for some believable measure. For anything to be credible it must first be possible. It is just too bad Robredo did not get the chance to co-head ICAD for a longer time and thus afford survey-takers a wider leeway to obtain credible survey results.

For even if all the respondents drew answers from the depths of their conscious and honest assessment, the shortness of the time against which Robredo must be measured just does not inspire confidence in the result. There is a reason why wine tasters run their sip lengthily in their mouths. When it comes to credible opinion, you do not just peck and go.

When Robredo took the ICAD job, I knew in my heart she could not do it. And not just because it seemed to be a political trap but because I have inherent misgivings about the overall capacity of Robredo to accomplish anything she was neither trained nor prepared to do. If I felt the same way about the vice presidency, which is a sit-pretty-and-wait job, how much more as ICAD co-head which is way so much harder?

If I may say something this late in the game, Robredo should try to fit on her shoes first before deciding to run around in them. I was always against her becoming the vice president because the job is no joke. It is not the spare tire some people make it out to and which is probably what her fans told her. But in electing a vice president, a nation is virtually electing a president, one who takes over at a moment's notice if the president keels over.

I have always wanted to be fair with Robredo. But it is Robredo who is not being fair to the nation. If she had wanted to play fair, she would have declined her party's nomination for vice president, knowing that, because of her inexperience, she would only be shortchanging the nation. I also wanted to be fair with her regarding ICAD. But she took it nonetheless. So here we are and SWS says she got +18 net satisfaction. That is being polite.

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