MANILA - As the satisfaction ratings of President Arroyo remained low, allies of the President in the House of Representatives on Thursday said history will be 'kinder' to her.
“Surveys are not always reflective of a leader’s effectiveness to govern. Popularity is not performance. History will be kinder to PGMA, and one day, she’ll be appreciated,” Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante said.
Abante also noted that Arroyo "seems to be learning to ignore survey results," which would have distracted her from the goals of her government.
“Her mind is on the economy and she's doing well. Whatever the survey shows, President Arroyo is still one of the best presidents we will have,” the lawmaker added.
Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said the President is trying to overcome negative public perception with hard work.
“She must continue to direct her efforts in exercising her power to address more pressing problems. While public opinion cannot be disregarded, survey results are not always accurately reflective,” Taliño-Mendoza said.
For his part, House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao, Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong, said Arroyo’s low ratings are reflective of the tough stance she has taken on unpopular issues, particularly her government’s fiscal policies.
“In these trying times, it’s not about being popular but being right, as in the case of the tough fiscal reforms the President had instituted at great personal political cost. There are decisions that might be unpopular in the midst of global financial crisis but should be implemented with reasonable dispatch for the benefit of majority of the people,” Datumanong said.
He predicted that the people will eventually understand that what the President has been doing is for their own good, and she does not have to be popular because she’s stepping down by next year anyway.
“She’s not even a candidate. The President has the duty and mandate to serve the people until June 2010, and she should not be disturbed or affected by survey rating,” Datumanong stressed.