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Vice-presidential ratings

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Social Climate

Vice-presidential ratings

As of June 23-26, 2017, 60 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied, and 24 percent were dissatisfied, with the performance of Vice President Leni Robredo. This gives a net satisfaction rating of +36, considered Good (+30 to +49) by SWS. It is an upgrade from her +26 (Moderate, +10 to +29) as of March 25-28, 2017.

For me, the recent upgrade is favorable enough for VP Robredo. Ratings in the first year are not critical for ultimate political success, as history shows.

Salvador Laurel, 1986-92. VP Laurel’s initial rating was a Good +44 in October 1986, but severely collapsed to -6 in October 1987, due to his apparent hope for the success of the Honasan-led coup attempt of August 1987. After that, his best was only +5. Succeeding grades stayed Neutral (+9 to –9) until February 1992. His Poor -10 in April 1992 was the worst finish of all VPs.

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Laurel placed seventh and last in the May 1992 presidential race. He should have been the natural successor of his party mate Cory Aquino, were it not for his impatience to become president.

Joseph Estrada, 1992-98. VP Estrada got consistently Excellent ratings in his first 10 surveys, up to the end of 1994. He set the all-time record +87 in July 1993. From mid-1995 he always scored Very Good or Good. He cooperated with President Fidel Ramos, who had made him anticrime czar. Then he won the 1998 presidential election easily.

But Estrada was a failure as president. He was impeached in his third year, due to “Juetenggate” and other scandals, and was finally run out of the Palace by People Power Two in January 2001. VP Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the constitutional successor.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 1998-2001. VP Arroyo had Excellent ratings, as high as +81, in six of her first seven surveys. She was at +63 in September 2000, but then abruptly dived to -4 in December 2000.

VP Arroyo’s double-downgrade from Very Good to Neutral was obviously due to her resignation from the Cabinet—Estrada had given her the social welfare portfolio—and active participation in anti-Estrada rallies. This showed once more that an overly critical VP makes Filipinos nervous. Filipinos expect a VP to be a team player, even while they deliberately vote for a P and a VP from different parties.

Teofisto Guingona Jr., 2001-04. When appointed VP by President Arroyo, Senator Guingona was almost 73, and hence not a rival for president in 2004. His ratings were Moderate, at most +19, plus a few Neutrals. He finished at +2.

Noli de Castro, 2004-10. Having topped—despite being a reluctant independent candidate—the 2001 senatorial election, Senator De Castro was the survey leader prior to the 2004 presidential election, until he accepted President Arroyo’s invitation to run as her VP instead. He won easily; she did not.

VP De Castro was not too ambitious. In his six years as VP with the housing portfolio, his scores ranged between a Good +47 and a Moderate +14. Nineteen of his 24 ratings were Good. He did not join the 2010 presidential race.

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Jejomar Binay, 2010-16. He was the third VP, since 1986, from a different party than the president, who nevertheless appointed him to the Cabinet, for housing. He started at a Very Good +58, and reached Excellent (as high as +76) seven times. It was not until the end of 2014 that he started getting Goods (four times) and Moderates (three times).

Prior to the last presidential election, VP Binay was the consistent survey leader, until February 2016. Yet in March he was overtaken by Sen. Grace Poe, and then in April both he and Ms. Poe were overtaken by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Contact mahar.mangahas@sws.org.ph.

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