Polls confirm majority support for P-Noy's anti-corruption fight
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-12-13
The October 2011 Laylo Report, which was shared by Newsbreak/Move.PH last December 6, and the November 2011 Pulse Asia survey, which was released last December 6, have confirmed that majority of Filipinos are supporting the anti-crime and anti-corruption campaigns of President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy).

Prepared by Pedro “Junie” Laylo Jr. of Laylo Research Strategies, the October 2011 Laylo Report (conducted on October 20-30 with a base of 1,500 respondents nationwide) showed that 56 percent of Filipinos are satisfied with the P-Noy administration’s anti-corruption campaign. The Pulse Asia November 2011 poll (conducted on November 10-23 with a base of 1,200 respondents nationwide) also showed that 56 percent support for P-Noy’s anti-corruption campaign while 53 percent support his anti-crime campaign.

These findings would indicate that Filipinos put a premium on restoring justice and the rule of law in the land and even consider this as more important than their economic concerns. These findings also validate the overwhelming support that P-Noy has been getting in his recent issues against the Supreme Court. Online media polls on the Executive versus the Supreme Court row have anywhere from a low of 70 percent to as high as 90 percent siding with the President.

Pulse Asia showed P-Noy enjoying a high approval rating of 72 percent and a trust rating of 74 percent. What is significant is that P-Noy’s biggest support base comes from the Class E, the poorest socio-economic class — 75 percent approval and 76 percent trust. Only 8 percent of Class E disapprove of P-Noy and have no trust in him. Considering the tough economic times, especially for those at the bottom, these numbers can be regarded as phenomenal.

Per Laylo: “Aquino’s approval rating stands at a high 69%, with 21% undecided, and 10% disapproving of how he leads the country. His satisfaction rating is at 64%, with 24% undecided and 12% dissatisfied with his performance as president.”

He added: “At least 65% trust him compared to 25% who are undecided, and 7% who distrust him. His support rating remains at a high 72%, with 22% undecided and only 6% unsupportive of his administration. The survey has an error margin of 2.6% for the total Philippine sample.”

Laylo shared an interesting analysis of the political dynamics behind P-Noy’s high ratings. He outlined five key publics in these political dynamics, categorized as follows:

1. Hardcore supporters – 11 percent
2. Allies – 53 percent
3. Neutrals – 32 percent
4. Critics – 4 percent
5. Hardcore opposition – 1 percent

Per Laylo: “Nationwide: only 35% are saying we are on the right path, 39% are undecided, 27% are saying we are headed in the wrong direction. Majorities may be generally content with Aquino as their president, but not necessarily with the direction the country is taking.”

Laylo further explained: “Anti-corruption efforts are lauded by most of those who say we are headed in the right direction. A feeling that the country is still in turmoil (“Magulo pa rin ang bansa”) and high prices of goods are the top reasons cited by those who say we are headed in the wrong direction. Regardless of how they perceive Aquino, the reasons are the same.”

When asked what will make people lose their confidence in P-Noy, the Laylo Report showed: “What tops the “unaided” list is corruption. Any corrupt act attributed to him or government officials under his administration would make them lose confidence in Aquino.”

Laylo detailed other factors that could affect P-Noy’s trust ratings: “The other issues that can eventually pull down his ratings are unresolved problems in prices, food supply, and education. Interestingly, 1% mention losing confidence in Aquino if former President Arroyo and her husband Mike are not put in jail. 1% also mention an unresolved Hacienda Luisita issue, and another 1% cite his smoking and his predisposition to fool around with girls, as added factors.”

For the P-Noy administration, these should be looked at as both areas of concern and opportunity. In the event that corruption is eventually exposed in the P-Noy administration, what’s important is for people to see that this is immediately addressed and the guilty are subjected to the same application of the law that we’re now seeing being dished to top officials of the previous regime. Some folks fear that some officials whom P-Noy had appointed to key positions will be tempted and their fingers will get itchy. It’s vital for P-Noy that he chops off their hands — figuratively speaking — once the shenanigan is discovered. Best is if P-Noy exposes it, instead of media or the Opposition, and applies immediate justice.

Laylo raised these interesting points about perceptions of P-Noy and how these are formed: “There are about 3 in 10 who always follow news about him; 4 in 10 sometimes monitor this; 2 in 10 rarely bother. Critics and hardcore oppositionists have a greater tendency to ignore him.”

He added: “A very big majority of 78% cites TV news programs as the most trusted source of information about what is happening in the country. Only 10% mention radio; an equal number of 2% cite TV commentaries and newspapers each. 1% each cite radio commentaries, the Internet, word of mouth, family or friends, church leaders, and local officials. The hardcore opposition revert more to what family or friends say.”

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