This is a press release from Akbayan.
Poll reveals students do not trust Corona
The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), a student council and student political party formation present in 150 campuses and 30 chapters nationwide, today revealed the results of a survey conducted on students of five schools which showed a strong distrust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. The schools surveyed were Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), University of the East (UE), and Tarlac State University (TSU).
According to Kristine Baguio, SCAP Deputy Spokesperson, “The survey was conducted to gauge the interest and satisfaction of the students concerning the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.”
The survey revealed that most students were following the impeachment proceedings either occasionally or on a regular basis. 57%, 69%, and 84.3% of students of ADMU, DLSU, and ADDU, respectively, said they occasionally followed the impeachment trial while 19%, 19%, and 8% of the students from the same schools said they were following it regularly.
Aside from gauging the students’ trust of Corona, Baguio also stated that they asked the students whether they felt Corona should remain as chief justice.
“We also conducted the survey to appraise the trust level Corona has among students and get their pulse whether they think Corona should continue to stay as chief justice or not. We had to consider the impact that the evidence presented in the impeachment trial had on the trust of the youth especially because the trial is also a political process that the youth have a stake in,” according to Baguio.
Baguio stated that of the five schools that the survey was conducted; four demonstrated strong distrust of Corona (DLSU – 69.3%, UE – 77%, TSU – 75.4%, and ADDU – 78.3%). On the other hand, 41% of students of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) or 4 out of 10 do not trust Corona. However, 39% of ADMU students were still undecided while only 21% or 2 out of 10 trust Corona.
Most of the students of the five schools expressed that Corona was not fit to remain in his position. The survey indicated that a majority, if not a plurality, of the students surveyed held this view (ADMU – 45%, DLSU – 63%, UE – 56.4%, TSU – 76.8%, and ADDU – 76.7%).
Significant number of undecided students should compel Corona to testify
Meanwhile SCAP National Secretary General Gibby Gorres also took note of the significant number of students surveyed who are still undecided and have yet to form an opinion on the impeachment trial. Gorres called this a strong case for Corona to testify before the impeachment court. He also urged Corona to explain his foreign currency bank accounts.
“However, as the ADMU survey has demonstrated, a substantial percentage of students are still undecided or have yet to form an opinion about the issue. This should serve as a challenge to Corona to come clean. We reiterate our call to the Chief Justice to open his dollar accounts, take a leave of absence and testify before the impeachment court. We believe if he will continue to hide behind legal technicalities, those who are undecided will eventually shift to the anti-Corona camp. This could be a potential ‘game changer’,” Gorres said.
Gorres also urged Corona to take the 6-week break of impeachment proceedings to consider their proposals.
“The long break in the trial is a great opportunity for the Chief Justice to think through whatever decision he will make in relation to his impeachment trial. We hope he will seriously consider our call for him to open his dollar bank accounts and testify before the impeachment court. We believe that he has the burden of clarifying before the public the numerous unanswered questions left by the trial. He can only do so by taking a leave of office which will also dispel any perception that his position in the Supreme Court might interfere with his impeachment trial,” according to Gorres.
The survey was patterned after a similar one conducted among students of the University of the Philippines – Diliman from February 24 to 28, 2012 which showed that 74% of UP students polled distrusted Corona.