MANILA, Philippines - Half of Filipinos agree with the Supreme Court's decision allowing the House of Representatives to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed Friday.
The SWS survey, conducted from March 4 to 7 and made exclusive to BusinessWorld, found 52% of respondents agreeing with the SC decision that allowed majority of congressmen to impeach Gutierrez.
Only 15% of respondents disagreed with the SC decision, 29% were undecided, while 4% refused to answer.
The Supreme Court on February 15 lifted a status quo ante order issued last September that halted impeachment proceedings at the House.
The survey showed that support for Ms. Gutierrez’ impeachment is higher in Metro Manila and class ABC, or the upper middle class.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents in Metro Manila and 53% in Balance Luzon agreed with the SC decision, while 47% in Visayas and 42% in Mindanao also threw in their support to the high court ruling.
By class, six in 10 from class ABC backed the House action. Half in class D supported the case, while only four in 10 from class E backed the court ruling.
Last Monday, a total of 212 congressman found enough evidence to have Gutierrez tried for the following issues: low conviction rate and inaction on the NBN-ZTE scam, fertilizer fund scandal, "Euro generals" scandal, Mega-Pacific deal, and the Philip Pestaño case.
The Articles of Impeachment have already been forwarded to the Senate for trial.
83% want plunder raps vs Garcia
The SWS survey also showed that an overwhelming 83% of Filipinos want former military comptroller Carlos Garcia charged with plunder because the evidence against him is strong.
Fifteen percent of respondents said the government should take the plea bargain with Garcia because the case was weak, while 2% said they don't know or refused to answer the question.
The nationwide discontentment against the former top budget officer of the military was seen in large majorities in all regions, or 85% in Balance Luzon; 84% in Metro Manila, 83% in Mindanao and 79% in the Visayas.
By class, nine in 10 Filipinos from class ABC and eight in 10 from classes D and E believe that plunder charges should be filed against Mr. Garcia.
The survey was conducted after Congress has recommended to withdraw the plea bargain deal, a request that has not yet been acted upon by the Ombudsman despite new testimonies and evidence presented so far in congressional hearings. With BusinessWorld