Robredo's 'fall-out' with Duterte factored in ratings drop: analyst

Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 28 2016 04:10 PM

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo's resignation from the Cabinet and public fallout with President Rodrigo Duterte were factors in the drop of her satisfaction ratings, an analyst said Wednesday.

Robredo's net satisfaction rating dropped to +37 in December, 12 points down from her +49 rating in September. Despite the drop, her net satisfaction rating is still at 'good', according to pollster SWS. 

Although its "normal" for ratings to drop at this time, analyst and University of the Philippines professor Ranjit Rye thinks the vice president's recent resignation as housing secretary affected her score.

"My sense is she took a hit because of that. I think had we been given by that survey I think that would have factored into my answers," he said in an interview on ANC.

Robredo announced her resignation after revealing she had been told to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings, adding she had been warned of a plot to steal the vice presidency.

Palace denied the plot and said Duterte just wasn't comfortable anymore with their conflicting political views. Robredo had spoken out against the bloody drug war and the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

"The circumstances... how it happened, the loss of confidence...and of course the seeming disagreement with the very popular president. All of these I think had impact on people who were surveyed looking at the vice president," said Rye.

But the professor noted that Robredo could easily bounce back if she proves she is a "constructive" member of the administration.
 
"Ultimately her own political relevance will be on how she will construct a coalition of cooperation and collaboration with the administration on common agenda issues like poverty alleviation, social development which I don't think we have any debate about," he said.

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Rye said it was only normal for the ratings of Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to drop.

"Expectations may not be met over the short period of time," he said, citing the government's only six months in office.

But the UP professor noted that there are certain incidents that probably contributed to the dip in numbers, just as in Robredo's situation.

In Alvarez's case, Rye recognized his achievement of successfully passing the President's budget for 2017. But he said this may have been overshadowed by the House's hearings on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary, which highlighted Senator Leila de Lima's love life.

"People are tired of the acrimony that they saw in Congress, especially the Lower House, especially how they dealt with the Sen. De Lima case, the perception of persecution," he said.

"Some people, for myself, that would have affected my own view of Congress spending so much time on noise instead of more substantive programs of government," he added.

Rye said Sereno was also put in a similarly "bad" situation when her chamber outvoted her to allow Marcos' burial at the LNMB.

"Did she take a hit? I'm sure she did for that," he said, although noting he expects her numbers to recover as she rolls out judicial reforms next year.

It's the same for Pimentel, Rye said, because he just needs to dole out legislative agenda relevant to people.

"I'm not worried about these numbers going down, the thing I am focusing on the next survey is when the programs begin to roll out... that's when we should be worried about the people rationalizing expectations," he said.