63% of Pinoys think Corona has hidden wealth: SWS


Posted at Apr 23 2012 10:58 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2012 09:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Six out of 10 Filipinos believe Chief Justice Renato Corona has hidden wealth, the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed Monday.

The survey conducted last March 10-13 found 63% of Filipinos agree that Corona has hidden wealth "based on the undeclared money and assets in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN)."

Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were undecided if they agree or disagree with the statement while 12% of respondents said they disagree that Corona has hidden wealth.

The survey showed that 58% of Filipinos believe Corona intended to help former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband to flee the country to elude the charges that she is facing. Only 17% of Filipinos believe Corona intended to help Mrs. Arroyo while 23% said they are unsure if Corona intended to help the former President.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they believe Corona accepted favors such as discounts for condominiums and plane tickets, 13% said they do not believe while 28% said they were unsure.

The survey said 73% of Filipinos believe the Senate should give a guilty verdict in the impeachment trial against Corona, while 25% said he should be acquitted.

A total of 45% of respondents said a People Power revolt should be used to force Corona out of office if he is acquitted in the impeachment trial. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they are unsure if a People Power revolt should be used to remove Corona if he is acquitted while 28% said they oppose a People Power revolt.

A BusinessWorld report quoted defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador as questioning the timing of the survey.

“We had just started the presentation of our evidence when the survey was taken so I don’t think that it is a reasonable indicator of public opinion,” he said.

Atty. Ramon Esguerra said the respondents had no “concrete evidence” on which to base their opinions and that ousting Mr. Corona would be an act of sedition.

“If media wants to continue creating a perception that [Mr. Corona] is by his detractors’ appreciation damaged goods, so be it,” Mr. Esguerra said.

“The plan to take over the Supreme Court and oust CJ, if done, is sedition and may even constitute direct assault, both crimes under the Revised Penal Code. Where then is law and order that we as a people aspire for?”

Defense spokesperson Atty. Karen Olivia Jimeno insisted that apart from upholding freedom of expression, surveys have little value in the case.

The March 2012 Social Weather Survey was conducted from March 10-13, 2012 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The survey has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for area percentages.  With a report from BusinessWorld

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