MANILA – According to results of a Social Weather Station’s (SWS) survey published in its media partner BusinessWorld, most respondents believed the impeachment trial of chief justice Renato Corona has been fair to both the prosecution and defense panels.
In the same breath, 73 percent of those surveyed preferred a “guilty verdict” compared to a 25 percent “not guilty” decision after the prosecution has finished presenting its evidence. The defense side has yet to start its own.
The survey, which was conducted March 10-13, also revealed that 73 percent of respondents believed it was important for the chief justice to testify at the trial as compared to 26 percent that replied on the contrary.
On a question on whether Corona should (a) resign immediately, (b) leave only if found guilty or (c) wait to be acquitted and then resign, 49 percent of respondents said he should wait to be found not guilty then quit; 30 percent chose he should resign at once; 18 percent chose option (b). 3.5 percent had no opinion.
Although 66 percent approved of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s handling of the trial with only 11 percent disagreeing for a “very good” net rating of +55, 51 percent responded they were unsure to trust the Senate rendering a fair verdict. Thirty percent said they had much trust and 19 percent said they had little trust.
Forty-nine percent also said the pace of the trial was too slow, 40 percent sad it was just right and 11 percent believed it as hurried.
Based on SWS analysis of responses on those who preferred a guilty verdict as opposed to not guilty, SWS concluded that:
- those preferring a guilty verdict are relatively more satisfied with the House action to impeach, the ongoing trial, and Enrile’s performance;
- both sides are mainly unsure whether the Senate will make a fair decision, but with the pro-conviction side with a more pronounced tilt towards trust;
- the pro-conviction side is mainly impatient with the trial pace, while the pro-acquittal side is mostly patient;
- both sides feel the trial is being conducted fairly but also worry that their opponents are being favored;
- both sides feel that both the prosecution and defense are conducting their work fairly, but again ratings for or against one panel are higher depending on the side;
- both sides feel Corona should speak up to defend himself, with the sentiment more intense among those favoring conviction;
- both sides strongly favor Corona quitting after obtaining an acquittal, if not earlier, with more from the pro-acquittal side favoring waiting for a verdict and only a few from either side saying he should stay in office in case he is found not guilty; and
- majority from either side said they will accept the trial’s outcome regardless of whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty.
The impeachment trial of chief justice Renato Corona began in January of this year and is due to resume after the Holy Week.
The SWS survey, which pooled 1.200 adults nationwide was conducted in mid-March after the prosecution finished presenting its case. Sampling error margins of plus or minus 3 percent for national and plus or minus six percent area percentages were applied to the survey.