Aquino government’s anti-corruption rating dips

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Friday, July 25, 2014

SENDING to jail three senators and their cohorts for allegedly siphoning off pork barrel in recent years may not be enough to prove the efficiency of President Benigno Aquino III's campaign against graft and corruption, a survey indicated on Friday.

In a survey conducted from June 24 to July 2, Pulse Asia said the Aquino administration got an approval rating of 42 percent for its anti-corruption drive, down eight points from the March poll (50 percent).

Its disapproval score also went up by eight points during the second quarter (from 19 percent to 27 percent).

The ranks of undecided gained a point (from 30 percent to 31 percent).

Pulse Asia offered an explanation, saying the continuing controversies regarding the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of some lawmakers and Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) could have affected, “in part,” the government's anti-corruption score.

An economic stimulus package which was also allegedly used to bribe senators in the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, the DAP’s key provisions were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC) on July 1.

Opposition groups, meanwhile, have been hitting the government’s zealousness in running after potential rivals in the 2016 presidential elections while allegedly being soft on political allies who allegedly had transactions with alleged PDAF scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

So far, only Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. are on trial for plunder and graft at the Sandiganbayan. Estrada and Revilla are reportedly interested to run for higher office in 2016.

Fighting graft and corruption is the third most urgent concern for Filipinos in the second quarter. It had a rating of 47 percent, trailing only workers’ pay (49 percent) and rise of consumer prices (52 percent).

Prices of commodities like oil, rice, sugar and garlic soared high during the survey period amid ongoing armed conflict in Iraq and low supply.

Filipinos are least concerned about population growth (9 percent).

Apart from fighting corruption, disapproval for the administration’s work on workers’ pay, poverty reduction and inflation control was also pronounced (+7 percentage points) during the period, Pulse Asia said.

The government was also rated on the following issues: rule of law, job creation, environmental protection, territorial defense, anti-crime efforts and peace and order.

The survey involves face-to-face interviews with 1,200 people and has a margin of error of ±3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

The same pollster, along with Social Weather Stations (SWS), earlier released survey results that Aquino’s approval and trust ratings significantly dipped last month. (Sunnex)

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