SWS survey: 73% want guilty verdict for CJ

by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 29 2012 10:15 AM | Updated as of Mar 30 2012 02:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Amid criticisms that pollsters are influencing the Corona impeachment trial, another polling outfit has released the results of its own survey.

In a nationwide survey conducted March 10-13, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said 73% of respondents would prefer that the Senate pass a guilty verdict against Chief Justice Renato Corona, while 25% said they want a “not guilty” decision.

Three percent didn't know what to answer or refused to give an opinion.

The survey of 1,200 adults nationwide was conducted just as the defense began presenting its case before the impeachment court last March 12.

Respondents were asked: What would you personally like the Senate decision regarding the impeachment trial to be? Would you like the Senate decsion to be GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

Majority of respondents, regardless of location, social classes, and educational attainment, said they would prefer a guilty verdict.

Among the ABC (upper- to middle-income classes), 84% said guilty; among the masses (D), it was 72%, and among the E (lowest), it was 70%.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), 81% said they prefer a guilty verdict; in the rest of Luzon, it was 72%; in Visayas, 65%; in Mindanao, 75%.

The survey showed that respondents are getting impatient with the pace of the trial, especially among those who want Corona convicted.

The survey said the pro-acquittal side is mostly patient.

Majority want CJ to testify

A total of 73% said “it is important” that Corona personally testify and explain the circumstances behind the allegations lodged against him, including the contents of his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth. Twenty-six percent replied otherwise.

A total of 30%, on the other hand, said he should “resign as soon as possible.”

Interestingly, those who want him to wait for an acquittal and then resign was at 49% while those who want him to leave office only when found guilty was at 18%.

Unsure if Senate will be fair

Despite this, 30% had "much trust" that the Senate will make a fair decision in the trial while 51% were unsure. Those with “little trust” on the Senate making a fair decision were at 19%.

Twelve percent said the trial is too liberal with the prosecution and 17% too liberal with the defense.

Almost 70% said the trial “has the right consideration” for both sides.

Satisfied with Enrile

Nonetheless, many were satisfied (66%) with the performance of Senate President and Presiding Judge Juan Ponce Enrile. Only 11% were not satisfied and 23% undecided.

Despite criticisms about its performance, the prosecution got 54% of the respondents satisfied while 15% were not.

The respondents also gave the defense a good start, with 49% satisfied with their performance and 18% dissatisfied.