MANILA (UPDATE) – Majority of Filipinos want Vice President Jejomar Binay to face the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee probe into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said.
The September 26-29 SWS survey, the result of which was first published on BusinessWorld, said 79% of 1,200 respondents agree that the vice-president should face the Senate and answer allegations of corruption.
Only 10 percent of the respondents disagreed, while 11 percent were undecided on the matter.
The survey had sampling error margins of ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.
SWS said of the 79 percent who agreed that Binay should face the Senate probe, 57% “strongly” agreed and 22% “somewhat” agreed. Six percent of respondents "somewhat” disagreed, 4% “strongly” disagreed, and 1% did not have an answer for the question.
In Metro Manila, 64% ''strongly agree'' that Binay should face the Senate probe, followed by Balance Luzon at 58%, Mindanao at 54% and the Visayas at 51%, SWS said.
In terms of socioeconomic class, 81% in class D either ''strongly'' or ''somewhat'' agreed that Binay should face the probe. This is followed by those in class ABC at 80%, and class E at 72%.
The percentage of those who ''strongly agree'' that Binay should face the probe was highest among members of the ABC class at 65%, followed by class D at 58% and class E at 50%.
Binay has refused to face the Senate probe, saying it is not the proper venue to discuss the allegations and it was only being used to persecute him and his family.
In a statement, Binay's spokesperson on political concerns Jonvic Remulla reiterated the vice-president camp's stand that the Senate hearings "are not in aid of legislation but in furtherance of political persecution."
"It would be futile for the Vice President to dignify such farcical proceedings and subject himself and his family to ridicule. There are other venues where the Vice President can address the baseless allegations and lies—venues where there is no other agenda except arriving at the truth. He is determined to bring the issues directly to the people, which he has been doing for the past weeks in visits to Mindanao, Zambales and Bataan," Remulla said.
Remulla also scored anew Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV for their supposed partiality in the Senate hearings.
"The Senate has prejudged Vice President Jojo Binay. Senator Trillanes has been brash about his prejudgment of the issue and blatant enough to say his objective is to bring down the survey ratings of the Vice President and even send the Vice President to jail," Remulla said.
"Both he and Senator Cayetano accepted as gospel truth the unfounded claims of former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, and even moved that the latter be placed under the Witness Protection Program. And while they coddle Mercado, they lambast COA (Commission on Audit) auditors and other witnesses whose testimonies went against or even contradicted the senators’ well-rehearsed script."
During the conduct of the Senate probe, Binay also saw his public satisfaction score dropping to a record low.
The survey conducted last September 26-29 showed Binay's net satisfaction ratings dropping by 15 points, from +67 in June to a very good +52 last month. The survey said a total of 70% of Filipinos said they were satisfied with Binay's performance while 17% said they were dissatisfied.
SWS said 63% of those who were dissatisfied with Binay's performance ''strongly'' agreed he should face the Senate, compared to 56% of those who were satisfied and 54% of those who were undecided on his record.
Eighty-five percent of respondents who were high school graduates either "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed that the vice-president should face the probe, followed by 82% among college graduates, 74% among elementary level graduates, and 69% among those with some elementary education.