“I will carry this to the end of my days.”
President Benigno Aquino 3rd may have foreseen his popularity going to the dumps when he uttered those words in Filipino in addressing the nation on February 6.
At the time, he was making an attempt to pacify the public over the way he and his men handled the Mamasapano incident.
The President’s trust ratings dropped to their lowest last week and, for the first time since he took power in 2010, Aquino is no longer the nation’s most trusted government official, a Pulse Asia survey that was released on Thursday showed.
Senate President Franklin Drilon sprang a surprise by emerging on top as he edged out the President for having garnered the highest trust rating with 44 percent of the 1,200 survey respondents giving him the thumbs up.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose name has been dragged in a corruption scandal way before the January 25 Mamasapano incident, was a close second to Drilon with a 42 percent trust rating.
Pulse Asia Research Inc. earlier announced that the President’s trust rating has dropped from 56 percent in November to 36 percent in March 15.
Pulse Asia conducted the poll from March 1 to 7 or over a month after the Mamasapano incident in Maguindanao that saw he killing of 44 members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police.
The respondents were interviewed face-to-face. The survey had a plus/minus 3 percent margin of error.
Commenting on the survey results, Malacanang said the President will focus on fulfilling his sworn duties despite the drop in his trust ratings.
“The President is firmly determined to fulfill his promises to his bosses, the Filipino people,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement also on Thursday.
“In all his actions and decisions, he abides by his sworn duties and serves in accordance with his judgment on what is best for the nation, regardless of the ebb and flow of public sentiment and popularity ratings,” he added.
Aquino posted a 47 percent approval rating in Class E and nearly the same approval and indecision ratings in the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In Metro Manila, the respondents were either critical of presidential performance (41 percent) or ambivalent (33 percent).
In Classes A, B and C, opinion is split with 35 percent expressing satisfaction over the President’s quarterly performance with 30 percent critical and 35 percent undecided.
On presidential trustworthiness, about the same trust and indecision ratings were recorded in the Visayas (34 percent), Mindanao (45 percent) and Classes D (35 percent) and E (38 percent).
Binay, meanwhile, enjoyed approval ratings ranging from 44 to 53 percent in Luzon, Mindanao and in Classes D and E.
Almost the same numbers were recorded in Metro Manila. Respondents either approve (39 percent) or disapprove (37 percent) of the Vice President’s performance in the past three months.
Binay recorded a 44 percent approval rating and 32 percent indecision rating in the Visayas.
In Classes A, B and C, public opinion is split with 38 percent critical, 37 percent appreciative and 25 percent ambivalent on Binay.
Half of the Class E (50 percent) trusts the Vice President. He is trusted by 43 percent in the Visayas and 46 percent in Mindanao.
Thirty-nine (39) percent of the people in Metro Manila, however, trust him while 38 percent distrust him.
Senate President Drilon got a 56 percent approval rating and 53 percent trust rating in the Visayas.
He also got near to small majority approval scores from Classes D and E at 48 and 56 percent respectively, and had almost the same approval and indecision ratings in Metro Manila (40 versus 37 percent), the rest of Luzon (43 versus 45 percent) and Class ABC (38 versus 41 percent).
His trustworthiness is split in Metro Manila with 38 percent trusting him, 36 percent undecided and 26 percent distrusting him.
In the rest of Luzon and all socio-economic groupings, basically the same trust and indecision figures are recorded at 33 to 46 percent versus 35 to 43 percent.
Among government institutions, Filipinos trust and appreciate the Supreme Court the most.
The High Court was the only key government institution that scored majority approval rating at 45 percent.
The Senate obtained a 38 percent approval rating, and the House of Representatives, 34 percent.
“These figures do not differ significantly from those obtained by these institutions four months ago,” Pulse Asia said.