Monthly Archives: July 2008

What is so bias with the latest Pulse Asia survey on the acceptability rating of the President?

I don’t exactly understand why Pulse Asia is being accused by Malacanang as bias in their surveys. Isn’t it that they the most objective and scientific method of investigation. They have crafted well their methodology, they’re so familiar with the geographical terrain and population or universe of their study.
No matter what they say with Pulse Asia, I still find them credible and objective. Here is the detail from the ABS-CBN news on line.

Palace accuses Pulse Asia of bias

Malacañang on Wednesday accused polling firm Pulse Asia of political bias when it released a survey last week on the Filipino public’s skepticism of President Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a press conference, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said Pulse Asia sought to “embarrass” and “shame” the president when it disclosed just days before the 8th SONA its survey which showed that only 14% of respondents believed the forthcoming SONA would be “truthful.”

He was referring to the Pulse Asia survey released on July 24, or four days before the 8th SONA, on “Public Perceptions Regarding State of the Nation.”

Out of the 60% of respondents who were aware of past SONAs, the survey results showed only 13% found Arroyo’s past SONA’s truthful while 46% said her past SONA’s were “not truthful.” Forty-one percent were undecided.

When asked whether they expected the July 28 SONA of Arroyo to be truthful, 14% said it would be truthful, 40% said it would not be truthful, and 46% were undecided.

The nationwide survey of 1,200 adults was conducted July 1 to 14. It had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percent.

Methodology questioned

Dureza said it was unfair to ask people whether they thought the forthcoming SONA would be untruthful when Arroyo had not yet made her speech.

“I think it sought to embarrass the president or to shame the president at a time that she has not even given the SONA,” he said.

“I question the methodology and the way the question was phrased,” he added.

Dureza said Pulse Asia “became a political player” in this particular survey.

“The way it was done, it was not to reflect a public opinion. It had something else in its objective,” he added.

Dureza called on the Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines (MORES), which he described as the “guardian polling and statistics,” to look into Pulse Asia’s alleged bias. He said Pulse Asia was not a member of this association of market research professionals and poll organizations.

“I challenge the MORES, which is a respectable institution to look into a non-member because the non-member may be spreading wrong information, which would destroy the integrity of other polling institutions that are doing their job,” he said.

“I challenge Pulse Asia to submit itself to scrutiny by the experts and to see how the questions were framed, the methodologies,” he said.

Dureza urged media organizations to be “more critical” of these surveys since media are the “principal consumers” of such surveys. He also urged media to “go beyond the survey.”

Hard times

On Pulse Asia’s July 1-14 Nationwide Survey on Quality of Life and State of the Economy released July 30, which showed 75% of respondents felt they were “worse now,” Dureza said this “reflects…that we’re in hard times.”

He said Malacanang does not expect people to be happy in times of high oil and food prices.

Dureza said the president accepts that her popularity ratings are low due to unpopular decisions such as keeping the 12% Value-Added Tax on oil products.

“I’m not doing this because I’m trying to gloss over the unpopularity of the president,” he said.

Dureza also said it was not fair to compare the ratings of Arroyo with former President Joseph Estrada since prices of oil then were around $80 per barrel or much lower than today’s world oil prices of $148 per barrel. “Don’t you think the dice is loaded?” he said.

Pulse Asia‘s comment

Elaborating on the Nationwide Survey on Quality of Life, Ana Maria Tabunda, executive director of Pulse Asia, told ABS-CBN the sentiments show the people’s economic hardship.

“What you get there is the sense of how difficult things are right now. They can’t even see it how it’s going to be improving in the coming year. It gives you a sense of helplessness at the situation,” she said.

Asked to comment on the claim it was not fair to compare the Estrada era with Arroyo’s, Tabunda said: “Well, the question doesn’t even mention the president. It’s only asking them to compare the quality of life or uri ng pamumuhay ngayon sa nakaraang taon. And we have been asking these questions since 1999. And we had a different president back then.”



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Only the Poor Could Judge GMA Fairly, not Surveys?

While President Arroyo was able to survive all attempts to eject her out from power, her acceptability rating has steadily plunging down. The latest survey showed her popularity rating to record low negative 38 points from negative 26 in March. This makes president Arroyo the most unpopular president of the Philippines since Marcos,

Malacanang however countered that it should be the people who will judge the president, not surveys. Executive secretary Eduardo Ermita,however, said that “running and managing the country is no popularity contest.”

It has been perceived that it is the passing in Congress of the  Extended Value Added  (EVAT) which made the president unpopular apart from the accusations of election fraud and a number of controversies of corruption and fraud in her administration. So far nothing has actually been proven in court.

About P8 billion worth of subsidies has been given to the poor since January of this year according to Ermita. The amount used came from the collection of extended Value Added Tax. Dole out services for the poor, conceived by Malacanang, include subsidizing cheap rice, subsidies to “lifeline users” of electricity, microfinance programs for wives of transport drivers, etc. Ermita is wondering why the president is still unpopular to the people despite all her efforts to help the poor.

Ermita however does not consider the survey result credible, it is something inaccurate that you don’t take in seriously.

 More on the survey report from Teresa Cerojano.

Arroyo’s approval rating in Philippines hits low

TERESA CEROJANO,Associated Press Writer

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s public support rating plunged last month to a record low, making her the country’s most unpopular president since democracy was restored in 1986, a survey showed Friday.

The independent Social Weather Stations survey found that 22 percent of Filipinos were satisfied and 60 percent dissatisfied with Arroyo’s performance.

The net satisfaction rating _ the difference between those satisfied and dissatisfied _ plunged to negative 38 points from negative 26 in March.

The rating was the lowest for any Philippine president since 1986, when Corazon Aquino restored democracy after leading a popular “people power” revolt that toppled longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Arroyo is the longest-serving head of state since Marcos. She took over the presidency after Joseph Estrada was toppled on corruption charges in the country’s second “people power” uprising in 2001, and then went on to win her own election mandate in 2004.

She has survived four attempted power grabs and three opposition impeachment attempts on allegations she cheated in the 2004 vote.

Arroyo’s chief of staff, Cerge Remonde, blamed the poor ratings on high oil and food prices. He also said the public reacted negatively to Arroyo’s decision to continue with a trip to the U.S. in June despite a typhoon in the Philippines that left hundreds of people dead and missing.

“While the president is sensitive to public opinion, she took an oath that requires her to do what is right and not what is popular,” he said.

While Arroyo has been credited with making economic reforms, she has grappled with political unrest stemming from allegations of corruption and influence-peddling involving her husband and accusations of human rights violations.

Social Weather Stations said its nationwide survey of 1,200 adults was conducted June 27-30 and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.



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Ces Drillon’s “Endless Nights” in Sulu— anybody interested to develop it into a “telenovela” for the network?

Ces Drillon herself wrote about her captivity in the jungles of Sulu which can be developed into a movie or a “telenovela” for the network(anybody there interested?). She describes her ordeal in Sulu that being a captive,” the nights seemed endless.”

As an ABS-CBN senior correspondent, little did she know that she was to cross the line from “a reporter chasing a story to becoming the story—and make headlines for many days” as she waded through the thick jungle of Sulu.

Ces Drillon, in a three-part series, will share the details of her kidnapping in her own version of the story such as  “her attempts to negotiate with her captors, the threat to behead one of them, and describes who these kidnappers are.” With her exact account on the circumstances behind her kidnapping, she may shed light as to who were those responsible and had to be prosecuted in the interest of justice.

Kidnappers in her account were nothing but bandits. “They had no ideology, only cruel force and lust for money.” Again Drillon will not be talking in reference only to her ordeal but the truth behind the “never ending” issue of kidnapping in Sulo.

The “lust for money” may not necessarily mean for Abu Sayaff bandits alone. But how about looking into the angle of probability that there may be some powerful people behind who are in cahoots with these marauding bands of “kidnap for ransom,” evils that this perilous problem and threat persist?

Will Ces Drillon be the most credible witness and a resource person to this problem/issue should Senate takes interest in looking at the journal of this ace reporter for inquiry in aid of legislation? What is really the truth behind Ces Drilon’s abduction? Perhaps her journal may provide the answer in quest for the truth.

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Iran is prepared to react fiercely if attacked by Israel or the United States

Iran will continue to supply crude oil even if attacked however it would react fiercely in an unimaginable reaction. Is Tehran bluffing or simply stating facts on the magnitude of what it could do if pushed to the limits and go on war with Israel or the United States?

Iran says any attack would provoke fierce reaction

By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer

MADRID, Spain – With Middle East tensions building, Iran’s oil minister warned Wednesday that an attack on his country would provoke an unimaginably fierce response.

Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said, however, that Tehran would not cut oil deliveries and would continue supplying the market even if struck by Israel or the United States.

Tehran “is not going to be quiet,” if attacked, Nozari told reporters. It’s “going to react fiercely, and nobody can imagine what would be the reaction of Iran,” he added.

Over the weekend, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned that Tehran would respond to an attack by barraging Israel with missiles and could seize control of a key oil passageway in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz.

But a senior U.S. military commander said Wednesday that Washington would not allow that to happen.

Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the 5th Fleet spoke to reporters after talks withnaval commanders of Gulf countries in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi. The one-day meeting was to focus on the security of the region’s maritime and trade routes and the threat of terrorism.

The 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain, across the Gulf from Iran. Cosgriff said that if Iran choked off the Strait of Hormuz, it would be “saying to the world that 40 percent of oil is now held hostage by a single country.”

“We will not allow Iran to close it,” he told reporters.

Minister Nozari addressed rising tensions outside the 19th World Petroleum Congress after a presentation on Iran’s oil and gas industry to a packed audience, including representatives of European and U.S. energy companies.

Tehran is under U.N., U.S. and European sanctions because it has defied U.N. Security Council demands to suspend its uranium enrichment program. But with oil supplies tight and prices at unprecedented levels, the energy industry remains tempted by the possibilities of investing in Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil producer and No. 2 in terms of the world’s natural gas reserves.

President Bush has repeatedly said that a military strike on Tehran is possible as a last-resort if Iran continues to pursue uranium enrichment and fails to heed other Security Council demands.

Last month, Israel sent warplanes on a major exercise in the eastern Mediterranean that U.S. officials said was a message to Iran — a show of force as well as practice in the operations needed for a long-range strike mission.

ABC News quoted an unnamed senior Pentagon official warning of an “increasing likelihood” that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear facilities before the end of the year.

Nozari said such any attack would send oil prices further into uncharted territory.

“We don’t think the wise people in the world even think about any action like that,” he said. “Can you imagine … what would be the result in the oil market?”

Oil prices hit a record high above $143 this week.

But Nozari indicated Iran would not withhold its crude from the market even if attacked.

“Iran has always been a reliable source of supply to the market, and Iran remains a (reliable) source of supply,” he said.

He dismissed suggestions that the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program has diminished Iran’s oil and gas exports, despite U.S. sanctions that prohibit American companies from doing business with Tehran and growing pressure from Washington on other countries to follow suit.

“We have increased our production in the past two years by 250,000 barrels a day and we have added to the production of our gas,” he told the AP


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