SWS AS A PROPAGANDA WEAPON

Do you agree, or disagree that Aquino must disclose his psychological records?

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I’ll make a bet with Social Weather Stations president Mahar Mangahas with my year’s fee as a columnist that more than 79 percent will answer, “I agree,” to that question above.

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More than 70 percent will also say ‘agree’ to the following questions:

“Do you agree, or disagree that Senator Trillanes shouldn’t use the Senate for politicking or to bring down the image of the frontrunner in the 2016 elections?”

“Do you agree or disagree that the SWS, when it publishes its polls, should disclose who asked for such polls, and how much it was paid for the service?”

All the above questions are formed in exactly the same mold of questions the SWS used for its recent survey: “Do you agree or disagree with the proposal of some Senators that Vice-Pres. Jojo Binay should appear in the Senate to answer all allegations against him?”

Of course the majority would agree. That SWS question and the four above are loaded questions, containing what more professional pollsters would term “response biases,” which would almost automatically elicit the “I agree” response. Who wouldn’t want any official to answer “allegations”?

I’m surprised why the SWS didn’t get a 98 percent “agree” response. But that would show how ridiculous its poll on Binay-must-appear-in-the-Senate was.

The SWS, as it had been in the case of Chief Justice Renato Corona in the impeachment trial, is helping, for a fee of course, push Binay to the same trap in which Corona fell.

The SWS poll question, like many of its political opinion surveys, is flawed for several reasons.

Déjà vu, or same old modus operandi? Similar numbers even?

Déjà vu, or same old modus operandi? Similar numbers even?

First, it disregards the phenomenon that many of its respondents, particularly the C-D-E classes, may not have sufficient information on the issue. A classic flawed question would be asking a poor Filipino who doesn’t read newspapers if he agrees to the enactment of the “Reproductive Health bill,” without explaining what the hell that is. He most probably would reply, “I agree” as soon as he hears the term kalusugan.

Believe it or not, the biggest-circulation newspaper is read only by 4 percent of the population, according to a recent rigorous study on media I’ve been shown. Most of the C-D-E class, I would bet, aren’t aware of the allegations about the Makati building and the Batangas estate. Did SWS first ask—as it should have—if the respondents were aware of these allegations?

Were the respondents aware, as most of us in the AB class know, that Senators Antonio Trillanes and Alan Cayetano are conducting the investigations against Binay not in aid of legislation but as a demolition job against the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential elections? SWS would come up with a survey finding that Binay shouldn’t attend the hearing if it, instead, asked the following questions:

“Many think that a Senate committee is being used to besmirch Binay’s reputation by making undocumented accusations. Do you agree or disagree that Binay should attend these hearings, anyway?”

Second, the SWS’ question has a very loaded term “allegations,” which was translated in the query’s Pilipino version to “paratang.” Who wouldn’t’ want an official to answer “mga paratang” and by “some senators” – especially when the masses still probably think that the senators now are of the same calibre and integrity as Senators Diokno, Tanada, Recto of the 1960s. Again, a different formulation of the SWS question would have results showing that Binay shouldn’t attend the hearings:

• “Do you agree or disagree that the Vice President should not subject himself to grilling and humiliation in the Senate by Senator Trillanes, who has already concluded that he is guilty of unexplained wealth, and publicly announced that he wants Binay thrown in jail?”

• “Do you agree or disagree that the Vice President should appear in Senate hearings in which Trillanes’ dubious witnesses would humiliate him in front of nationwide TV?”

• “Do you agree or disagree that the Senate has become a tool for Aquino to politically demolish the opposition?

This SWS tack of portraying that the nation wants Binay to attend the Senate hearing isn’t new. Something like this was done before—in March 2012. And the figures involved make me very, very suspicious.

SWS yesterday reported that 79 percent of its respondents want Binay to testify in the Senate. In March 29, 2012, two months before the May 29 decision, SWS also reported that the majority wanted Corona to testify in the Senate. Guess exactly how many? 73 percent. With Corona’s disastrous performance in the Senate, Aquino’s gang obviously, stupidly thought they could do a Corona Part II.

As I explained in my column on Monday, the SWS, as well as its competitor, Pulse Asia, have become Aquino’s propaganda accomplices in all his campaigns to remove from office or jail his opponents.

Aquino’s playbook is to leak to a major newspaper materials alleging corruption committed by the target or targets. On cue, these would trigger the Senate to conduct investigations. The newspaper then sensationalizes the investigations and other newspapers join the fray.

The SWS and Pulse Asia then come in to exploit the widespread misconception over the nature of polls—that the outcome is “objective” truth—to further portray the target as indubitably corrupt. But the two polling firms actually can only capture a snapshot of public opinion, which, however, had been formed by the screaming headlines of media.

I have been aghast at how the SWS had become such a potent propaganda tool wielded effectively by the Aquino Administration.

Its worst participation had been during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, and I wonder how the SWS people can sleep at night with the injustice they contributed to, and their participation in the lynch mob that damaged our constitutional system of checks and balances.

At the height of the impeachment trial in the two months before the May 29 conviction, the SWS barraged us with not one but three surveys:

• 29 March 2012: “53 percent satisfied with the action of the House of Representatives to impeach Corona”

• 30 March 2012: “73 percent prefer Corona conviction”

• 26 April 2012: “63 percent believe Corona has hidden wealth”

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla and the other senators probably would have jumped for joy reading the SWS polls. The SWS polls gave them the perfect cover to convict Corona, even if they voted so because of the P100 million given them as bribe from the Disbursement Acceleration Fund.

I was told by my sources that the SWS actually did another survey from May 24 to 27, which was designed to be the coup d’ grace, as it would show that 72 percent thought not only Corona guilty, but that even his wife should be indicted.

It turned out that the senators were so eager to finish the trial to get their hands on the P100 million DAP funds that they made their decision on May 29.

Using the SWS, of course, as a propaganda tool is expensive, which indicates that this Administration has accumulated a huge war chest for the 2016 contest. A poll purportedly of 1,500 respondents would cost P2.5 million.

One trick of pollsters, also done by many NGOs, is to get several “sponsors” for the same poll. That is, one client would think he is paying P2.5 million for a particular poll. What he doesn’t know is that the pollster is using the same survey exercise for not just one other client but probably for two or even four more.

This is possible since polling “science” has shown that a respondent could be asked as many as 60 questions in a “face-to-face” interview while most clients would need answers to, at most, only 10 questions. That would mean that for a purported P2.5 million cost of one survey exercise, the pollster could be earning a multiple of P2.5 million – P10 million with four clients.

The SWS, in particular, tries to portray an image to the public that it is a research institution, and makes its findings public. This is a lie: Often, you would find items—as in the poll on Corona’s impeachment—whose results are not disclosed, with the note “reserved for subscribers.”

Of course, SWS is a non-profit corporation, and claims to have academic standing, and even its executives are not called executives but “fellows.”

“Do you agree or disagree that SWS is actually Aquino’s highly-paid propaganda outfit?”

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
FB: Rigoberto Tiglao

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42 Comments

  1. Mr. Tiglao…it is with fondness I find that obviously your question is similarly biased like the SWS survey question which would illicit a yes! So, how can I join you to ante the pot to be on your side that the survey result will be 79%!

    And I agree that it is late in the day to disclose such information as it will result into an wasteful and expensive taxpayers money usage….what go into impeachment!

    What I like to see is a concerned group formed that would monitor the government expenditures even before the COA. We have seen the PDAF and DAP wasteful usage. I recall if I am not mistaken that towards PGMA term there was such an initiative.

  2. Tita Boluso-Rimando on

    1 – psychological records – far too late in the day for that one. records or none, he’s cuckoo, plain and simple.

    2 – surveys – if i remember my stats correctly, for surveys to be valid, shouldn’t the sample respondents be at least 30% of the target universe-respondents? if the respondents are just a thousand, results are not worth the paper they’re printed on. pang- Family Feud lang ‘yan! as in – “100 people were asked, and survey says……!”

    3 – with abnoy’s penchant for using the nation’s coffers to pay off people/institutions to carry out his evil scheme, can we still believe survey results?

    4- yellow used to be a battlecry. i marched for Ninoy’s funeral, i marched Cory’s call for business-boycott, i marched edsa that brought down the Marcos regime. but since Abnoy’s ascendance, this beloved symbol has lost its radiance. i guess it was alright when he was donning yellow during the campaign. but he’s been wearing the yellow ribbon from day 1 as president of the republic. and the yellow/pre-election party color has taken over the yellow/laban symbol. he should have shed off the yellow ribbon when he became president. no need for the party color. as president he should now represent the country, not his party.

    but then again, who am i to advise a looney who’s bent on doing his own thing with no regard for anyone except himself/family wealth.

  3. Romeo M. Menorca on

    Once the result of Aquino’s psycho test is made public – we will understand better why we have a DYSFUNCTIONAL system at the moment.

  4. There’s nothing we can do now. Even if we know his psychological record, he is already the president of the country. The people that supports all the action and move of Mr. President Noynoy are the people who will not agree with your intentions as they are the one benefited. For the disadvantage, the only way is to keep monitoring and pray that nothing happens to the country while waiting for the end of his term. For those interested to become the president, they should do the utmost ways to show their capabilities that it would not be a repetition on what’s happening now. Candidates should show their statemanship now to fulfill the wishes of the pilipinos for a good government. The majority of the populations are praying for a change of situations forgetting that the situations is already there only for people to change. There’s always and end to everything in this world. The good, the bad and the ugly.

  5. parang may pagka konting “autistic” nga kasi napupuna ko, pag may mabibigat na problema ang bayan siya ay nawawala..nadedepress.. nagbibiyahe sa labas… kung ilalabas yung “psychological records” na malamang nadoktor naman, ay macoconfirm na nga itong pagka abnoy o pagkatino neto..malalaman natin na siya pala talaga ay may mga ganireng isyu sa nakalipas hane?

  6. It is quite late to insist that P-noy undergo psycho test. He already had it long before he became president. And many people know his state of mind. Only the persistence of the yellows undermined what could have persuaded most Filipinos to be wary of this candidate P-noy long before he could run amok in Malacanang and push this country down the drain, submerged to that miserable state it is now. Let this be a lesson learned. Let us be careful in trusting a person thru his association or relationship to great and prominent people. He might turn out as a monster instead of a Messiah that his followers portray him to be.

  7. Polls perception conducted over fees is nothing but a consultant who will tell you its feasible as long as the right fee is on the table. The 2016 timeline is nearing you Mr. TIGLAO can have a better use of your MT space. Spouse your honest wisdom and declare to RP that there are better candidates other than these politicos hugging the newspaper daily. Bnay and Pnoy are rotten eggs already…who are the alternatives?…make your MT space worthy and RP will thank you for as long as you are alive.

  8. Again, when SWS was doing it to Erap, you agreed, but now that they are doing it to Binay, you disagree. Strange…

    • the writer does not actually disagree. rather, he explained why the answer for the poll’s question is a resounding yes.

      any writer may even use the sws results to contradict one’s claims especially if that one always resorts to the said surveys – but that does not mean the writer may have to believe the survey.

  9. Prostitutes are honest compared to SWS and Pulse Asia. At least the former let you know exactly what you are paying for while the latter would brazenly scr*w your minds on behalf of devious sponsors.

  10. That Aquino is mentally-challenged is a well-known secret. But his cohorts and the yellow mob ignore it for reason or reasons only in their time-warped minds know. Haven’t you noticed that every time there is a problem which assumes a national character, Aquino is nowhere to be found? Most likely, he turns into a depressive state. And a person like that also believes that he is the rule. He is the law.

    About these SWS and Pulse Asia – they are manipulators par excellence. I once had an interaction with the head of a research cum polling outfit. He showed
    me how to manipulate stats or data to favor the interest or objective of the subscriber.

    SWS and Pulse Asia are not independent thinkers in the professional sense. Money talks, remember?

  11. PNoy is bent on destroying government institutions to satisfy his evil scheme for power. First, he corrupted leading media institutions in order to brainwash the gullible Filipinos. Then he paid SWS and Pulse Asia, the country’s leading survey outfits to make a survey of the obvious: the measurement of the fruits of his propaganda done by PDI, PS, ABS-CBN, GMA. Then, he started to unleash his attack dogs. He ordered his docile puppets like the Ombudsman and the Dept. Of Justice to perpetually detain PGMA without valid and sensible evidence. Then by corrupting the prostitute Congress, he wrought vengeance against the SC and CJ Corona. This was bolstered by the assistance of the AMLC, BIR and conscript journalists and Party List Akbayan. Now, the maddening administration is not stopping on its rampage. The next target is the Vice Presidency, incidentally being held by his Yellow ally, VP Binay. Now the question is: what is really in the mind of BS Aquino III? To prove to the Filipinos and the world that there is no semblance of deep psychosis inside him, he should reveal his pschiatric records since we his subjects has the right to know, once and for all.

  12. Not just Noynoy, but anyone who enters public service should be required to undergo psycho test to determine they are mentally fit for the job. Because we see idiots and morons who should not be there.

  13. May I ask: Is there , but any reason why PNoy should not disclose his psychological records?
    His “bosses” so demand. Non-compliance warrants his immediate dismissal from service. We need a leader with a sound mind and healthy body, one who has “palabra de honor” and not one who has a delusion of grandeur. Only God can judge the interior of persons, it is true, but it is alsresiento correct that we can judge the kind of tree by the fruits it gives. Honestly speaking, this President is so under-achieved. Politically, he is truly an embarrassment to our beloved Philippines!

  14. sws or pulse asia, if they are really working for the benefit of the country should include in its upcoming survey the question about aquino revealing his psychological evaluation done in boston, u.s.a. as alleged by carmen pedrosa and the one conducted, as alleged, by ateneo to prove once and for all that what we have has a stable mind or we have been fooled by the yellow cult to elect somebody with questionable ‘status’

  15. I Agree.
    In addition to your 1 year salary add my one month pension to your bet.
    Ambassador Tatad – A very good Survey Question.
    Trillanes is using the investigation to advance his poliyical ambition – “BS”.
    Cayetano & Pimentel: SAME BANANA – “BS”

  16. It is time that a real unbiased nonprofessional unpaid pollsters make more meaningful surveys. I know there are statistics student organizations all over the country will to make these polls. SWS and Pulse Asia surveys are not representive of the respondents, I.e., 1,000 up to 5,000 only. If students willing to run surveys all over the country (maybe up to 50,000) to determine that Pnoy Aquino is fit or unfit, e.g. psychologically unfit, nonperforming president, corrupt or not corrupt, Jojo Binary is fit or unfit as VP, among others, then we have a objective surveys.

    Call on all of UP, PUP, UST, Pamantasan stats students!

  17. The sws question was no different from “do you like to take your breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon, supper in the evening, sleep at night, etc. The 79% that agree actually represent those not aware of the real issue about VP Binay and Sen. Cayetano/Trillanes.

  18. The sws question was no different from “do you like to take your breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon, supper in the evening, sleep at night, etc. That 79% that agree actually represent those not aware of the real issue about the Binays.

  19. Whatever, I’ve already read PNoy’s psychological records and can share it with whoever cares to bother.

  20. The SWS and Pulse Asia are being used as propaganda tools by this administration and it is a wonder how the Filipinos could be so gullible as to believe them. There should be a law against the publication of survey results without being accompanied by information or data on the method used, the inclusive dates of the survey, who commissioned the survey , where the survey was conducted, the number of respondents and the actual questions asked. The purpose for these requirements is to ensure transparency that will assist the public in arriving at a well informed and intelligent opinion as to the credibility of the survey results.

  21. 200% agree mga linta ang mga ito,ito ang modernong mga ahas na nagpapanggap na santo!
    Ito ang mga bagong hudas na nagpapagamit sa demonyo!

  22. pagsasayang lang ng oras kung ang pag uusapan tungkol sa administrasyon ni abnoy,sa lahat ng naging pangulo mula kay marcos siya yung pinaka walang utak

  23. gabriela silang on

    that sws, pulse asia and phil daily inquirer are aquino’s propaganda tool is no brainer. and as such,aquino masterfully used it to advance his murky desires. manipulation is the name of the game and aquino is a manipulator par exellence!
    no point in asking the people thru surveys aquino’s psychological record and state of mind. that would never fly though we ought to know the true mental and physical state of the president. go on, dream…and you are not the only one!

  24. Agreed 100% in your comment. The filipinos now a day no longer believe in “Honesty is the best Policy”. Now, the basis of decision or belief is “Money”. Everything can be bought.

    • Bonifacio Claudio on

      I get that you disagree to agree… Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng dibdib… oh, ‘di vah?! I agree to agree; you disagree to disagree… You’re not one hard boiled yellow egg if you … whatever… hehe

  25. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

    I agree that Aquino should disclose his psychological records; I agree that the Trillanes-Cayetano senate investigations is actually a “Yellow Ribbon Committtee” in aid of elections, NOT of legislation; I agree that former CJ Corona was a victim of the “tuwid na daan” which only applies to ‘enemies’; I agree that the SWS is doing a BIG DISSERVICE to the Filipino people and the nation because of its politically-motivated surveys; and, I agree that SWS is actually Aquino’s highly-paid propaganda outfit.

    HOWEVER, I agree that Binay should be investigated by the Ombudsman, instead of by the “Yellow Ribbon Committee”, not by grandstanding senators (akala mo totoo) like Trillanes and Cayetano. This tandem tend to disrespect witnesses and act like judges questioning accused people, but with no binding decisions to come up with, instead of demeaning or degrading witnesses for political aggrandizement. Corrupt is corrupt DESPITE other good deeds.

    These politicians should stand on their own strengths (records), not by pulling down their adversaries or relying on the weakness of others. Usually, this happens when prople have power or are in high places; they are out of this world or, are not down to realities. Everything in this world is TEMPORARY as everyone is only passing by.

  26. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    To answer the question as to whether I agree that Aquino must disclose his psychological records, my answer would be a 100% YES. The Filipino people
    deserves to know the psychological background of every public servant much more
    to the president to determine if he is mentally or physically fit to hold a public office.
    In the same manner that Binay should submit himself to public scrutiny. If he is not
    hiding anything irregular, then by all means he should open himself for any probe that will prove that he did not commit anything illegal. He should not be invoking or hiding any technicalities to a avoid such investigation. For after all, members of his family have benefited and have taken advantage by positioning or sitting themselves to
    important positions in government. Vice president, senator, congresswoman and
    mayor? That is a fate for this one family have achieved. So, kanila na ang Pilipnas.
    And, it is just fitting and proper for them to make themselves available for public
    verification for the Filipino people to see what do they have that they are that very fortunate that others do not have?

  27. Yes, psychological records must be part of the credential of any leader, let alone the president. I have been advocating it.