THERE are more Filipinos who believe the government’s drive against misuse of public funds will succeed, according to the latest survey of Pulse Asia.
Malacanang immediately credited the optimism to President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s campaign against corruption.
In the Pulse Asia survey conducted from September 8 to 15, 48 percent of the respondents believe the fight against corruption in the government can succeed. The figure improved from three months ago, the pollster said.
“Amidst the decline in the level of concern for the need to fight corruption in the
government, 48 percent of Filipinos are hopeful that corruption in the use of public funds can still be successfully addressed. This opinion is shared by big pluralities to small majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes [45 to 54 percent and 47 to 54 percent, respectively],” it added.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. traced this positive outlook to the people’s “heightened awareness” against graft and corruption as shown by the Aquino government’s resolve to prosecute grafters and suspected plunderers.
“Maybe, our people saw the fruition of President Aquino’s campaign that’s why they now
have a higher awareness on various issues,” Coloma told reporters.
He cited the prosecution of people involved in several scams, unlike in the past when investigations stopped at the level of congressional probes.
“From reports and allegations, it moved to actual prosecution like those charges filed on corruption, plunder, malversation and related issues,” Coloma said.
He was referring to the filing of charges against those involved in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam, including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. who are all now in jail.
Also charged and jailed were alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and several of the lawmakers’ subordinates who either acted as conduits or played a major part in the anomaly.
“This led to the creation of heightened awareness and consciousness among our people, which boosts their confidence that the government will do what is needed to make public officials accountable under our laws,” Coloma said.
Pulse Asia asked the respondents to agree or disagree with the premise: “We can still successfully fight the corruption of officials in using public funds.”
Forty-eight percent agreed and 23 percent disagreed. On the other hand, 28 percent were undecided.
Coloma noted that the controversies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay could have been factored into the people’s responses since the Senate hearings on the Makati City Hall Building 2 project began within the survey timeframe.
At the same time, he said the “activity” at the Senate blue ribbon committee is purely its own and part of lawmakers’ duty to conduct investigations in aid of legislation and in performing their oversight function.
Coloma again denied allegations that Malacañang had a hand in the proceedings because the principal accuser of Binay, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, has been admitted to the government’s Witness Protection Program.