Sereno camp says drop in ratings good despite smear campaign
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is unfazed by the drop in the top magistrate’s satisfaction ratings, which dipped to its lowest since 2015 at neutral +6.
Sereno’s net satisfaction ratings dropped from +9 in September 2017 to +6 in December 2017, according to the latest survey released by Social Weather Stations or SWS.
It’s Sereno’s lowest rating since December 2015 when she got a neutral –1.
The +6 rating is still a good one, says spokesperson Josa Deinla “despite a well-orchestrated campaign to malign her and soil her integrity through baseless and malicious allegations.”
The survey was conducted from December 8 to 16 which was around the time of the impeachment hearings at the House of Representatives, where employees and fellow justices criticized Sereno’s unilateral actions at the High Court.
Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza accused Sereno of treason, while Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro made an impassioned statement against Sereno’s leadership, telling the House committee “until when will we suffer?”
Sereno’s spokesperson Jojo Lacanilao said the drop in ratings was a natural result of “one-sided” hearings at the House. Sereno’s lawyers were not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses, and Sereno refused to personally attend the hearings. (READ: Sereno impeachment: Cracks in the Supreme Court)
“The Chief Justice will recover from any adverse public perception when we are able to cross-examine witnesses against her and our side of the story is finally heard by the public in the impeachment trial in the Senate,” Lacanilao said.
SWS trends show that that there has been a steady decline in Sereno’s ratings that started with a big drop from +21 in June to +9 in September.
The news of her impeachment broke out in July when complainant Larry Gadon stated releasing documents and other information against Sereno, such as the purchase of a luxury vehicle.
But compared to past Chief Justices, Sereno is faring well with her immediate predecessors. (READ: How Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales have stood up to the President)
Though not as popular as Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan during the Corazon Aquino administration, Chief Justice Andres Narvasa during the Ramos administration and Chief Justice Hilario Davide that spanned the Estrada and Arroyo administrations, Sereno has higher ratings than Chief Justices Artemio Panganiban, Reynato Puno and Renato Corona who dipped to the negatives during his own impeachment trial.
“The Chief Justice looks forward to be able to fully address all the issues raised in the impeachment complaint when her fundamental rights, including her right to counsel and to cross examine through her counsel of choice, will be respected,” Deinla said.