Aquino, Binay turn up the heat as 2016 election nears

Both President Benigno Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay improved their public satisfaction ratings in the recent Social Weather Stations survey. But after Binay's resignation, the top two officials in the country engaged in a heated word war.

How will Aquino and Binay's tirades against each other affect their ratings leading up to the 2016 elections?

Camille Elemia reports.

Less than a year before the 2016 presidential elections, President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay seemed to have drifted ways, with Binay resigning from the cabinet and Aquino expressing dismay over Binay’s actions.

How do these events affect public perception on the two highest officials of the land?

Election season is indeed underway as the top two officials of the land are themselves caught up in a heated word war.

Friends-turned-political foes President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay both improved their net satisfaction ratings in the recent second quarter Social Weather Stations or SWS survey.

President Aquino’s net satisfaction ratings bounced back from an all-time low rating last March — from positive 11 to positive 30 in June while Binay’s ratings increased from positive 31 to positive 42 this month.

But only three weeks after the survey was conducted Binay resigned as a member of the Aquino cabinet and publicly denounced the administration where he served for five years.

The President, meanwhile, fired back at him for keeping silent the whole time Binay was in the Cabinet Aquino even went on to say the public knows who’s telling the truth.

In the fight for public opinion in the lead up to the 2016 elections SWS director Leo Laroza admits surveys can’t predict how the public will view all these events.

After all, surveys are screenshots of a particular point in time.

He, however, noted the patterns evident in past surveys from the time of the matriarch Aquino to Gloria Arroyo.

 

He says when then Vice President Doy Laurel resigned from former President Cory Aquino’s cabinet, public satisfaction went down.

The same thing happened when Arroyo resigned from the cabinet of former President Joseph Estrada in 2000.

 

Leo Laroza, SWS Director: After that, we captured it in our survey she fell to a neutral plus 4, drastically sharply..from very good +63, December 2000. It’s a wait and see thing. We can only look at history but we can never predict whats going to happen in the future.

Political analyst Edmund Tayao shares Laroza’s sentiment —that it is too early to tell how Binay’s resignation and his word war with Aquino will affect the public’s perception.

Tayao, however, still sees a decrease in public confidence for both officials.

He cites Binay’s heated criticisms towards the Aquino administration, saying Binay must first explain the corruption allegations against him or else his statements will be ineffective.

 

Edmund Tayao, political analyst: These issues are taken seriously by the public which he can’t just dismiss as politically motivated… Honestly, I have no idea whether there’s anything not politically motivated when you’re in public office.

But for Filipinos who have become so immune to all the politicking, all of this is normal fare.

Jomar Garcia, consultant: It's almost the elections. PNoy and Binay are from different parties so maybe that's why they're bickering.

Dindi Japson, electrician: They're fighting because the elections are near. That's the reason.

Millions are being spent in imaging campaigns and demolition jobs. How can an ordinary Filipino voter see through the fog of political war? And be able to answer the ultimate question in 2016 – who will I vote for?

Camille Elemia, Rappler, Quezon City. – Rappler.com