Survey: 41% distrust Corona in Ateneo

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FORTY-ONE percent of Ateneans distrust Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona while 45% think that he should not remain in office, the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) reported this morning at the Institute of Social Order.

Among the five universities recently surveyed, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) has the lowest figures for the distrust of Corona and the need for him to leave his post.

Results from four other universities showed that majority of those surveyed distrust Corona. They are the following: De La Salle University (DLSU), 69.3%; University of the East (UE), 77%; Tarlac State University (TSU), 75.4%; and Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), 78.3%.

Numbers also remain high for those who think that Corona should not remain as the chief justice: DLSU, 63%; UE, 56.4%; TSU, 76.8%; and ADDU, 76.7%.

SCAP National Secretary General Gibby Gorres said that the survey aimed to gauge the interest and satisfaction of the students regarding the impeachment trial, to appraise the trust level of Corona, and to get their pulse as to whether he still deserves to stay in office or not.

In ADMU, SCAP worked with The Assembly, the student political science organization, and the Ateneo Statistics Circle to conduct the survey from March 11 to 15. The said survey was patterned after that of the UP Paralegal Society.

Survey in ADMU

Senior social sciences major Moses Albiento clarified that the results do not reflect the stand of the university. Albiento is ADMU’s delegate to SCAP.

Four hundred and ten students in ADMU took part in the survey, out of which 42 were from the School of Humanities, 110 from the School of Management, 102 from the School of Science and Engineering, and 156 from the School of Social Sciences.

The Assembly President Coco Navarro said that the number of surveyed students exceeded the targeted 368, the minimum number necessary for accurate results. The survey has a 95% confidence level, with a 4.72% margin of error.

While 41% of Ateneans distrusted Corona, 21% still trust him and 39% are still undecided. Given the margin of error, however, the number of Ateneans who distrust Corona and the number of those who are still undecided about the matter are in a statistical tie.

In more decisive results, though, 45% of Ateneans want Corona to leave office, 26% want him to remain and 29% are still undecided.

“I don’t know if ‘undecided’ means they don’t want to speak up or ‘undecided’ means they really don’t know anything,” Albiento said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“There have been comments in the survey that said that they also want to see the defense. It might be a turn for those who are undecided to say otherwise [once they hear the side of the defense],” he added.

Albiento speculates that Ateneans might want to know more about the issue before passing judgment because many of the Ateneans surveyed keep themselves abreast of the issue.

He did not discount, however, that a significant number are not updated about the impeachment trial.

In the official survey results, however, only 19% said that they follow the proceedings regularly. 57% said they follow the impeachment occasionally, while 23% do not follow at all.

Taking a stand

Students surveyed were asked to rank the grounds for impeachment, with 1 being the most pertinent and 3 as the least.

In ADMU, graft and corruption garnered the highest percentage for Rank 1, garnering 54%. Corona’s failure to disclose financial information garnered the highest percentage for Rank 2, with 42%, while the issue of credibility got the highest for Rank 3, with 45%.

Albiento pointed out that graft and corruption remains a big issue, garnering a high percentage for Rank 1 despite Ateneans’ divided opinions and varying levels of knowledge about the impeachment trial.

“I personally would want groups such as Sanggu and The Assembly to have avenues for students to actually discuss [the issue],” he said. “Ateneans should... take a stand on the issue. Magsalita sila kung sa tingin nilang dapat.”

He added that the impeachment process is a means for the people to protect the Constitution and the right of the people to know what is happening in the government.

Albiento said that the issue is not just the impeachment of a person, since everyone is affected by the actions of government officials.

Albiento also said that the youth must take the impeachment trial as a wake-up call to become active citizens, especially given that another round of elections is at hand.

“[Government officials] are accountable to us from the very beginning. We have to keep watch of them whether they are appointed or elected,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

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