Seven out of ten Pinoys want PNoy to file graft cases vs. Arroyo
July 16, 2010
MAKATI CITY July 15---- Seven out of ten Filipinos in the National Capital Region want Pres. Benigno Aquino to file cases in court against former Pres. Gloria Arroyo for allegedly committing fraudulent government transactions during her nine-year term of office.
This was the result of a survey conducted by the Makati-based polling firm StratPOLLS among voting respondents in eight key cities in the metropolis namely, Manila, Las Piñas, Makati, Caloocan, Quezon City, Pasig, Pasay and Valenzuela.
When asked if they are in favor of plans by the administration of President Aquino to file cases in court against the former president and her former government officials for alleged graft and corrupt practices, 69.5% said they are in favor even as 30.5% said they “should be pardoned for the sake of promoting or attaining peace in the country.”
It will be recalled that the biggest scandals that shook the Arroyo government were the scuttled ZTE NBN deal worth 15 billion pesos (US$329.5 million), the Department of Agriculture fertilizer scam worth P728 million and the “Hello Garci” high-profile political controversy of 2004-2005 that led to the protest and resignation of ten cabinet secretaries and sub-secretaries of the Arroyo government or the so-called Hyatt 10 which almost caused the downfall of the former Arroyo government.
“Of course, in undertaking the survey, our office proceeded from the viewpoint of probabilities especially in the light of developments where Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who was named to the position by Arroyo herself, is now under fire for her alleged soft treatment of the graft charges against the former president.
“Let us not jump to any early conclusion that the former president is outright guilty because our democratic institutions guarantee due process be accorded every citizen of the land suspected of any wrongdoing.
“Even then, this would take a very long process that could even occupy the whole six-year term of the Aquino government and that, at the end of it all, Arroyo could softly walk into the sunset, scot-free.
“It would be worth remembering that after twenty four long years, almost a lifetime, scores of cases against the Marcos family are still pending before the PCGG and the other courts outside of the country for the recovery of the multi-billion peso Marcos ill-gotten wealth, ” said Prof. Alfredo Sureta, Jr., executive director of StratPOLLS.
Among those who want the Aquino government to file graft cases in court, respondents in Makati, Manila and Las Piñas displayed the highest percentage of approval with 84%, 80% and 76% respectively.
Conversely, respondents in Caloocan City displayed the least approval with only 48% endorsing such a move and 52% going against it.
In a follow-up question among the 69.5% who approved of the filing of cases against Arroyo and her underlings, and if proven guilty, 60% want her to go to jail while 36% want her to return the money while 4% want her exiled abroad.
“This means that if there were ten people inside a room that says they want Arroyo charged in court, only six would really want her to go to jail even as four would want her to just return the stolen money and be pardoned, that is granting that she is guilty.
“The negative replies of the four or 36% could somehow reflect the fate that former Pres. Joseph Estrada endured, meaning he was jailed for six years and was later pardoned and the people somehow approved of such a pardon given to Estrada by Arroyo,” said Sureta.
The fast poll was accomplished through direct phone interviews among 400 respondents in the eight key cities of the metropolis which method is also the most reliable and accepted polling method in the United States.