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VP Binay camp says approval ratings dragged down by Makati building issue

The series of nationally televised hearings held by the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall building II led to the slump in the approval ratings of Vice President Jejomar Binay, his spokesman said Tuesday.
The latest Pulse Asia survey, which showed a 15-percentage point drop in Binay’s approval rating, “was taken at the height of the one-sided Senate hearings and did not cover the live speech,” Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson for political concerns, said in a statement.
“We feel that it would have been a different picture had the survey captured this event since the people would have heard the Vice President's point-by-point reply,” Remulla said, referring to Binay’s speech at the Philippine International Convention Center on September 18. 

Binay, in an interview with a radio station in Mindanao, acknowledged the effects of what he described as a vilification campaign against him and members of his family.

“Yung talagang abot-abot ang paninira sa’min, kahit papaano ‘yung paninira sa’kin, tsaka sa pamilya ko sa mga bagay na wala namang katotohanan, talagang pulitikang- pulitika lang, e in aid of legislation (daw pero) napunta na (sa) kung ano-anong cases, merong konting epekto, pero konti lang,” Binay said.  

Binay was asked what the country could expect from him if he goes on to win the presidency in 2016.
“Ang dadalhin ko po kung magiging Pangulo po ako, ang dala-dala ko po, ‘yun naman po talaga ang issue sa darating na halalan, e ‘yung karanasan at kakayahan. I’ve been part of the executive for more than 21 years as Mayor of Makati,” Binay said.
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from September 8 to 15. It showed a decline in the popularity ratings of all the country's top five officials including the Congress leaders and Chief Justice, with President Aquino getting the slightest dip at one per cent.

"Most Filipinos remain appreciative of the quarterly performance of President Benigno S. Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay (55% and 66%, respectively)," Pulse Asia said.

Rural areas
Binay, who has consistently topped the presidential surveys for 2016, has been linked to allegations of bribery in the construction of a government building in Makati when he was still the city's mayor. The Senate has been conducting hearings on the matter.

On the latest popularity survey, Remulla noted that the decline was mainly in the urban areas, associating this phenomenon with the people having access to the news media.

He said Binay’s survey numbers in the rural areas “are basically unchanged.”
Remulla added that it would have helped if the survey also included the trust ratings of politicians – other than the top five officials – listed as possible contenders in the 2016 presidential race.

“This would give a clearer perspective of the public's sentiment at the time the survey was taken,” Remulla said.
Under the circumstances, “we accept the results,” he said.
“The Vice President is grateful that he remains most trusted government official despite the baseless attacks. He will continue clarifying the issues directly to the people and performing his duties,” Remulla added. – Amita O. Legaspi/VS/YA, GMA News