VP Binay is most trusted official: Pulse

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay is back to being the most trusted among the country's top five officials, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey, but that may not be enough to catapult him to the presidency next year.

In the May 30 to June 5 survey, Binay and President Aquino were the only ones among the top five officials of government to obtain the trust and appreciation of the majority of Filipinos.

The survey was conducted when the Mary Jane Veloso case, the low inflation rate, the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law by a panel of the Lower House and the continuing saga of the corruption allegations against Binay dominated the headlines.

But while Binay had the highest trust rating, he also had the highest level of small or no trust.

Binay has a 57% trust rating, 24% undecided and 19% small or no trust.

President Aquino has a 50% trust rating , 38% undecided and 13% small or no trust.

Senate President Franklin Drilon has 45% with big trust in him, 45% undecided and only 10% with small or no trust—the lowest of the five.

Speaker Sonny Belmonte has 28% with big trust in him, 52% undecided and like Binay has 19% small or no trust.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has 27% big trust, 53% undecided and 17% small or no trust.

Compared to the March 2015 survey, Binay and Aquino both saw improvements across the board and especially where it mattered the most—balance of Luzon and class D, which account for the majority of voters.

Aquino posted an 18% improvement in trust in Luzon and 16% improvement in class D.

Binay recovered 24% in Luzon and 16% in class D.

Distrust against Aquino eased 18% in NCR, 16% in Luzon, 19% in class ABC and 15% in class D while distrust towards Binay eased 16% in NCR.

Both President Aquino and Vice-President Binay are trusted by at least half of those in the rest of Luzon (52% and 63%, respectively), the Visayas (52% and 53%, respectively), Mindanao (54% and 50%, respectively), Class D (50% and 55%, respectively), and Class E (54% and 66%, respectively).

While the Vice-President also posted a majority trust score (52%) in Metro Manila, President Aquino obtained almost the same trust and indecision figures in this geographic area (35% versus 40%, respectively).

Meanwhile, nearly the same percentages of those in Class ABC either trust President Aquino or are ambivalent toward his trustworthiness (40% versus 44%).

Public opinion toward Vice-President Binay’s trustworthiness is split three-ways in this socio-economic class (39% trust, 26 indecision, and 35% distrust).

Senate President Drilon was able to register a majority trust rating (52%) only in the rest of Luzon and he posted a majority indecision figure in the Visayas (55%).

Virtually the same percentages of those in Metro Manila, Mindanao, and all socio-economic classes express either trust in the Senate President (38% to 49%) or cannot say if they trust or distrust him (40% to 49%).

In contrast, most of those in the rest of Luzon (53% to 55%), the Visayas (51% to 56%), Mindanao (55% to 56%), Class D (52% to 53%), and Class E (53% to 56%) are undecided as regards the trustworthiness of House Speaker Belmonte and Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno.

Both the House Speaker and the Chief Justice record basically or exactly the same trust and indecision ratings in Metro Manila (43% versus 43% and 35% versus 47%, respectively).

In Class ABC, ambivalence is the majority sentiment regarding the trustworthiness of Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno (56%) while essentially the same percentages either trust House Speaker Belmonte (33%) or are ambivalent concerning his trustworthiness (46%).


For Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes, the improvements in the standings of Aquino and Binay are significant because these are beyond the 3% margin of error of the survey.

"Nakabawi malaki talaga pag akyat...It goes beyond margin of error. Significant, brings them back to levels of approval and trust late last year," he said.

In Binay's case, the improvement came from those who started to trust him again.

"In general, yung approval and trust galing sa dati di nag apruba at di nagtiwala kay VP Binay mas malaki bahagdan dati hindi masabi kung aprubado ang nanumbalik ang tiwala nag aantabay sila," he said.

Holmes said the March survey came at the height of the furor over the Mamasapano incident, which no longer dominated the headlines at the time of the June survey.

"Increases in balance of Luzon, NCR, Class D - these are larger areas. It recovered across all areas. Ratings not as bad in Visayas-Mindanao compared to NCR and Balance Luzon. They shifted to indecision. If you have improvements there, that will impact national areas. Across areas, there were marginal increases," he said.


Holmes said that while Binay is the most trusted among the top five officials, he is not the number 1 choice of respondents for the 2016 presidential election.

The Pulse Asia official said negative news against Binay has a bearing on electoral preference and not necessarily the people's assessment of his work as Vice President.

He noted that when it comes to electoral preferences, people may simply trust someone else more even if they also trust Binay.

"Sa hanay ng kandidato sa 2016, yung iba maaaring maging kandidato, maaaring kapareho o mas mataas preformance at trust rating. Kung hanay si VP Binay, maaaring pareho o mas mataas rating ni Secretary Roxas, Senator Poe at Mayor Duterte. Iba pagpili ng sino boboto dun sa pagtitiwala, pinagkakatiwalaan pero kung ihaharap listahan na pinagkakatiwalaan lumalabas sa survey namin mas pinili si Senator Poe," he said.

"Dito sinasabi namin mahalaga mapanatili mapataas pagtitiwala," he added.

Senator Grace Poe was the preferred choice of 30% of voters for the 2016 presidential elections, 22% picked Binay, 15% picked Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Dduterte and 10% picked DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

Holmes also believes it may be a sign people have gotten tired of the allegations against Binay. However, those that remain doubtful of Binay's trust cannot be ignored.

"Maaari mo sabihin masyado na mahaba tinakbo ng alegasyon. Bumabalik pagtitiwala. Malaki pa rin di nagtitiwala. Yung proportion ang kailangan tuunan ng pansin, malaking bahagdan...Signfiicant plurality who don't trust you. Those people are also voters. Di mo maasahan sa bawat six na magtitiwala iboboto ka. Maaaring nagtitiwala rin sa ibang tao," he said.

Similarly, Binay had the highest approval rating at 58%. He also had the highest disapproval rating (18%) and the lowest undecided rating (24%).

In the case of President Aquino, while he remains popular, his political capital may no longer be as potent for 2016 as his endorsement powers in the 2013 midterm elections was. The candidate being endorsed is just as important.

"Pwedeng tignan sa survey lalo na kung tignan approval ng rating ng Presidente 2013, mataas, more than 70%, mas malaki ang influence sa eleksyon. Nakita naman natin resulta. Pero di matatanggal important sino ine-endorso. Mismong ine-endorso may kakayanan kumuha ng suporta," he said.

Pulse Asia has yet to study just how much will an endorsement help a candidate.

Holmes said an endorsement has no effect on people who will vote for the candidate endorsed even without the endorsement. "Ilan yung di sumusuporta, yun yung value added," he said.

"Ano epekto sa endorsement? Mas mababa ito bumalik sa mayorya the president's political capital, higher 2010 to 2013 before PDAF scandal. After that one, the President's political capital fluctuating. Can this be retained closer to the election?"

Holmes said an endorsement could mean getting credit for things the government has done as well as get resources.

"Pero di ganun kalaki epekto ng endorsement lalo na kung popular kandidato. Maaaring epekto kung mapapakita…may kakayanan ine-endorse na ipagpatuloy programa," he said.


The latest Pulse Asia survey showed President Aquino had a 54% approval, 34% undecided and 12% disapproval rating.

Senate President Franklin Drilon had 49% approval, 42% undecided and 8% disapproval—the lowest of the 5.

Speaker Sonny Belmonte has a 30% approval rating, 53% undecided and 15% disapproval.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno has a 31% approval 52% undecided and 14% disapproval rating.

Compared to the March 2015 survey, Binay and Aquino both saw improvements across the board and especially where it mattered the most—balance of Luzon and Class D which account for the majority of voters.

Aquino gained 19% in Balance of Luzon and 19% in class D.

Binay gained 15 % in Luzon and 12% in class D, while gaining 14% in Visayas and 14% in Mindanao.

Similarly, disapproval for Binay eased 16% in NCR while disapproval for Aquino eased 17% in NCR, 11% in Luzon and 11% in class D.

President Aquino posts majority approval ratings in virtually all geographic areas and socio-economic classes (55% to 62% and 54% to 56%, respectively), with Metro Manila and Class ABC being the exceptions (34% and 43%, respectively).

For VP Binay, approval is the majority sentiment toward his performance in every geographic area and Classes D and E (51% to 62% and 56% to 67%, respectively).

The latter’s only non-majority approval rating is recorded in Class ABC (43%). Majority approval scores are enjoyed by Senate President Drilon in the rest of Luzon and Class E (both at 54%).

Half of those in Metro Manila (50%) also appreciate the latter’s work while indecision on the matter is the predominant sentiment in the Visayas (52%). Practically the same approval and indecision figures are obtained by Senate President Drilon in Mindanao (47% versus 43%), Class ABC (44% versus 40%), and Class D (47% versus 44%).

Both House Speaker Belmonte and Chief Justice Sereno failed to get majority approval ratings in any of the country’s geographic areas and socio-economic groupings.

Ambivalence toward these officials’ performance is the majority opinion in the Visayas (59% and 54%, respectively), Mindanao (55% and 59%, respectively), Class D (52% and 52%, respectively), and Class E (58% and 55%, respectively).

At least half of those in the rest of Luzon cannot say if they approve or disapprove of the performance of House Speaker Belmonte and Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno (52% and 50%, respectively). Likewise, the latter also registers a majority indecision rating in Class ABC (55%). Basically the same approval and indecision figures are registered by the House Speaker and the Supreme Court Chief Justice in Metro Manila (44% versus 46%) and by House Speaker Belmonte in Class ABC (32% versus 48%).

Meanwhile, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court are unable to register majority approval ratings in this survey – both at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes.

While indecision is the plurality opinion about the work done by the House of Representatives (47%), the Senate and the Supreme Court register almost the same overall approval and indecision scores (40% versus 43% and 44% versus 38%, respectively).

These institutions record practically the same national disapproval figures (16% to 17%).

In the different geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, basically the same approval and indecision figures are recorded by the Senate (36% to 44% versus 42% to 44%).

The only exception is Metro Manila where the plurality sentiment toward the Senate’s performance is one of ambivalence (46%).

As for the House of Representatives, near to bare majorities in Metro Manila (51%), the Visayas (45%), and Class D (48%) are unable to say if they approve or disapprove of its work.

Almost the same approval and indecision ratings are obtained by the Lower House in the rest of Luzon (38% versus 47%), Mindanao (39% versus 47%), Class ABC (33% versus 48%), and Class E (35% versus 43%). In the case of the Supreme Court, appreciation is the plurality opinion about its work among those in Class E (45%).

In the case of the other officials of government, the ratings of Drilon were essentially unchanged while the high levels of indecision towards Belmonte and Sereno were reflective of the lack of information over their work as well as of their offices.


Binay's camp welcomed the good news. Binay's spokesman for political affairs, Rico Quicho said in a statement: "The latest results of the Pulse Asia survey show that the people appreciate his hard work and dedication to public service. More importantly, it highlights that attacking the Vice President does not make his political opponents prepared for the job of the presidency."

"The Senate investigation is intended to wrongly discredit, through baseless allegations and hearsay, the Vice President's previous projects in Makati that have successfully uplifted the lives of its residents and exemplified good public service."

"The Vice President will continue with his public service and concentrate to fight poverty and rising income inequality. He will move for inclusive economic growth while others play petty politics. The Vice President's political opponents' rhetoric does not match their record."

Malacanan also welcomed the survey result.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said: "This is a testament to the people’s confidence in the President’s integrity and reliability, and the firm resolve of this administration that no one should be left behind in our quest toward inclusive growth."

"With roughly one year left for this administration, it is the Filipino people’s support which continues to inspire us to serve them better, and it is their discernment in future elections that will ensure the continuity of what we have done as we continue to tread Daang Matuwid."