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Losing our trust

The most recent Pulse Asia public opinion polls show that the trust and approval ratings of President Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo and other senior officials have collectively fallen.

The decline in trust and approval ratings is about equal for Mr. Duterte and Robredo, while those of other officials like Senate President Tito Sotto, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin likewise dropped, albeit by smaller margins.

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Still, as a report in this paper points out, despite his falling ratings, the President “remains the most trusted Philippine official.” The ratings decline fell steepest in Luzon and Visayas, while approval and trust for PDuts even increased slightly in the President’s “home territory” of Mindanao.

What do the poll results show? The migration from the President’s previously stellar ratings, some have pointed out, moved not from approval to disapproval but from approval to “undecided.” That to me indicates an overall disappointment with the current administration since, given the prevailing environment of fear and intimidation, saying one’s “undecided” is a safe answer. But it is still far from a “landscape” of disapproval, though perhaps indicative of a growing pessimism and dissatisfaction with Mr. Duterte and his cohorts.

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Still, what do we make of the similarly declining approval and trust in the Vice President? Leni Robredo’s ratings have always lagged behind that of Mr. Duterte’s. This may be in part blamed on the unceasing attacks on her person by the President, and the relative lack of public exposure of the Vice President’s accomplishments.

Perhaps the electoral protest case filed against the VP by losing candidate Bongbong Marcos has something to do with Robredo’s lackluster ratings. Certainly, carrying out her duties under a cloud of doubt and skepticism would not help boost her popularity among the masa.

As this is being written, the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, is set to decide on the draft report completed by Justice Alfred Caguioa. Three provinces — Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Camarines Sur — were selected by Marcos’ camp for a recount, claiming that these provinces were where the worst cases of cheating took place.

Reports reveal that Caguioa’s findings support Robredo’s appeal for a dismissal. One reason could be that, instead of bolstering Marcos’ claim of being cheated, the recount resulted in the widening of Robredo’s lead over Marcos. Indeed, if Robredo’s electoral victory was confirmed in the ballot results in the provinces where Marcos claimed the worst of the cheating took place, of what use would there be for a further recount in other disputed areas?

But there are rumors that the majority of justices were supposedly “pressuring” Caguioa to revise his report recommending that Marcos’ protest be dismissed. A newspaper has claimed that a majority of the justices, nine to 11 out of 14, would “junk” Caguioa’s report.

If so, it would come as no surprise since the high tribunal has shown consistency in agreeing with legal points raised by the Duterte administration. And since the President has spoken out time and again on his favoring Marcos as vice president while denigrating the qualifications, accomplishments and even gender of Robredo, a vote in favor of extending the appreciation of ballots in the Marcos protest case is but to be expected.

And we wonder why Filipinos are losing their trust in our own government?

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There have been reviews and commentaries galore on “Joker,” which gives audiences a backstory on the evolution of one of the most memorable, remarkable villains in the entire “Batman” saga.

Comments have ranged from ecstatic to condemning, mainly because of the onscreen violence. But all are in agreement that the performance of Joaquin Phoenix as the grinning, menacing Joker is an almost shoo-in for best actor in the year’s awards derbies.

As for the violence and gore, much of it comes off as gratuitous, though sometimes unintended, the steady decline of Joker’s faculties explaining his increasing cruelty and malice. It is indeed a most absorbing character study, a close-in look at mental health and its roots in childhood trauma and parental abuse. It is not a comfortable film to watch, certainly not feel-good, but mind altering and eye-opening. Watch with mind and eyes wide open.

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TAGS: approval rating, At Large, Bongbong Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, leni robredo, pet, Pulse Asia survey, Rina Jimenez-David, Rodrigo Duterte, trust ratings, vice presidential electoral protest
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