Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Pulse Asia: Glo Out

Arroyo ouster 'best scenario,' most Manilans say in poll

Joel Francis Guinto

ALMOST half of Metro Manila residents believe that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's resignation or impeachment is the "best scenario" that will resolve the political crisis in the country, according to an independent survey released Tuesday.

The Pulse Asia Inc. survey from July 2-8 shows that of the 300 respondents in Metro Manila, only 16 percent think that it will be best for the country if Arroyo will finish her term until 2010, compared to 41 percent who want her to resign or be impeached to give way to snap elections.

This is in contrast to a Pulse Asia nationwide survey in June when only 28 percent of the respondents said Arroyo should either resign or be impeached to allow Vice President Noli de Castro to take over while 22 percent wanted the President to finish her term.

The July study also showed that only 15 percent of Metro Manila residents believed De Castro's assumption to power is best for the country while another 10 percent said Arroyo should be replaced with a "junta" or caretaker government before a new election would be held.

Meanwhile, 10 percent said Arroyo should be removed either by constitutional or extra-constitutional means.

Only six percent favor a shorter term for Arroyo and Charter change, which seeks a shift to a parliamentary form of government from the present presidential system, the same July survey in Metro Manila said.

When asked about the "most destructive" way out of the political standoff, 24 percent of the Metro Manila respondents said the intervention of a foreign government; 18 percent, a coup d'etat; 17 percent, Arroyo's stay in power until her term ends; 14 percent, after Arroyo's resignation or impeachment; 14 percent, a police and military takeover; and 11 percent, De Castro's assumption to the presidency.

Senator Panfilo Lacson is the "best person to lead the country now," according to 36 percent of Metro Manila residents in the July 2-8 survey.

De Castro is in second with 15 percent. Former president Joseph Estrada is third, with 8 percent; followed by actress Susan Roces and Arroyo, with 7 percent each; Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide and former president Fidel Ramos with 4 percent each; evangelist Brother Eddie Villanueva, with 3 percent; and Senator Rodolfo Biazon, 2 percent.

Meanwhile, 25 percent of the respondents ranked Arroyo first among those who were "not acceptable to lead the nation."

Behind Arroyo among the leaders whom the Metro Manila respondents do not find acceptable are former defense secretary Fortunato Abat, with 17 percent; De Castro, 12 percent; Davide, 11 percent; Estrada, 9 percent; Roces, 6 percent; Lacson, 5 percent; Biazon, 4 percent; Villanueva and Ramos, 2 percent each, the survey said.

Pulse Asia's July survey was conducted after Arroyo's public apology for her "lapse in judgement" when she called an elections officer during the 2004 canvassing. It had a margin of error of +/-6 percent and a confidence level of 95 percent.

In the Pulse Asia nationwide survey in June, De Castro topped the list of best alternatives to Arroyo, with 30 percent; followed by Estrada, 19 percent; and Lacson, 19 percent.

Arroyo also topped the list of unacceptable leaders in the nationwide June survey with 42 percent; followed by Ramos, 39 percent; and Villanueva, 31 percent.

But despite the worsening political crisis, Metro Manila residents remained in high spirits, according to the July survey.

Only 17 percent said they agreed with the statement "The country is hopeless," compared with 22 percent in March.

Those who said martial law was "necessary" to solve the political crisis slipped to 18 percent in July from 21 percent in March.

A similar Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released last week showed that 62 percent of Metro Manila residents believed Arroyo should resign or be impeached.

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