DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was visibly uncomfortable but still in a goading mood in his television program Sunday, when a copy of Reader's Digest featuring a list of the country's most trusted persons was presented.
The mayor is number 47 in the Reader's Digest Philippines' Most Trusted Individuals in 2010 and is the only political leader in Mindanao who made it.
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"I accept it with all humility but I'd rather not talk about it. It's better that other people talk about it," the mayor said when asked about his reaction to the Reader's Digest survey.
He also brushed off an attempt to make him enumerate what could have earned him that trust.
"Siguro kay sa pirmi nako'g pamalikas diri (Maybe because I'm always cursing in my television program)," he said in jest.
But he was quick to take the opportunity to swipe at the Team Nograles, which of late has been accusing Duterte and his administration of graft and corruption.
"Ikaw Karlo, kung tigas imong papa, siya unta naa diri? (Karlo, if your dad was really good, he should be in this article)," Duterte said as he held the Reader's Digest copy in front of the television.
The mayor was addressing himself to Karlo Nograles, the son of House Speaker Prospero Nograles who has been most vocal about allegations of corruption in the City Government.
The only other politicians who ranked higher than the mayor are Senator Benigno Simon "Noynoy" Aquino III at number 5, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas at number 24, and Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim at number 41.
Other politicians who made it to the list include Senator Francis G. Escudero, 50th; Senator Joker Arroyo, 52nd; presidential candidate Senator Manuel Villar, 60th; former President Fidel V. Ramos, 62nd; administration presidential bet Gilberto Teodoro, 65th; and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 78th.
Reader's Digest, a monthly general-interest family magazine was co-founded in 1922 by Lila Bell Wallace and DeWitt Wallace, and based in Chappaqua, New York, United States.
For many years, Reader's Digest is the best-selling consumer magazine in the world and, excluding the United States, it reaches 40 million people in more than 70 countries, with 50 editions in 21 languages. It has a global circulation of 17 million, making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world.
Released in its March 2010 issue, the first in the Reader’s Digest list is actress and philanthropist Rosa Rosal followed by singer-actress Lea Salonga, journalist and GMA News vice president Jessica Soho, philanthropist and Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto, and Liberal Party standard bearer Noynoy Aquino.
The mayor said that had the charges of corruption and graft he is being accused of by his political opponent been true, then he would not have made it in the most trusted list.
It was also pointed out in the program that Speaker Nograles had a -20 net satisfaction rating in the Fourth Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey released on March 12, 2010.
In its media release on the survey conducted December 5-10, 2009, it found 52 percent satisfied and 28 percent dissatisfied with the performance of Vice President Noli De Castro; 46 percent satisfied and 27 percent dissatisfied with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; 33 percent satisfied and 32 percent dissatisfied with Chief Justice Reynato Puno; and 21 percent satisfied and 40 percent dissatisfied with Speaker Nograles.
Part of the SWS media release read:
"Vice President de Castro's latest net satisfaction rating of moderate +23 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) is nine points down from the good +32 in September 2009. It is just one point above his historically lowest score of +22 in May 2005.
Senate President Enrile's net satisfaction rating has been moderate over the past three quarters: it was +23 in June, +14 in September, and +19 in December.
The net satisfaction rating of Speaker Nograles stayed at a poor -20 from September to December 2009."
With regards government institutions, the Senate had a moderate +27 with 51 satisfied and 24 dissatisfied with its performance, three points down from the +30 in both June and September 2009.
The House of Representatives netted a meager +9 with 38 percent satisfied and 30 percent dissatisfied similar to the +10 in the previous quarter.
Nograles became Speaker in February 2008 and has since had a negative net satisfaction rating.
"His net satisfaction rating has been poor since SWS began surveying it on March 2008," the SWS report said.
In comparison, Senate President Enrile got a moderate net satisfaction rating over the past three quarters: it was +23 in June, +14 in September, and +19 in December.
Vice President de Castro, on the other hand, has a latest net satisfaction rating of moderate +23 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied). It is nine points down from the good +32 in September 2009. It is just one point above his historically lowest score of +22 in May 2005.
Chief Justice Reynato Puno's net satisfaction rating, meanwhile, has been at neutral levels since March 2007, with his latest net rating at +1, similar to +2 in September.
The Fourth Quarter of 2009 Social Weather Survey was conducted from December 5 to 10, using face-to-face interviews of 2,100 adults divided into random samples of 300 in Metro Manila and 600 each in Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (sampling error margins of plus-minus 2.2 percent for national percentages, plus-minus six percent for Metro Manila and plus-minus four percent for Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).
The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium population projections for 2009 to obtain the national estimates.
Before him, Speaker Ramon Mitra during his stint had a moderate +10 net satisfaction rating. Speaker Jose de Venecia had a neutral -4 rating, Manny Villar had a moderate +15, while Arnulfo Fuentebella had a very neutral zero net satisfaction rating. No one among those who have become speakers have dipped to a -20.
In the February 19 released SWS "2009 Surveys on Corruption," on the other hand, it gave a -34 rating for the House of Representative in terms of sincerity in fighting corruption.
This report integrated the findings on corrupt practices from "SWS Surveys of Enterprises in 2009" and the "SWS National Surveys of Adults in 2009" commissioned by the Asia Foundation under the Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG) research and advocacy project.
Davao City, in the same survey, passed with flying colors with enterprise managers giving the highest approval ratings ranging from 70-78 percent on survey questions related to transparency, accountability and other areas of governance.
The SWS Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption were conducted from November 3- December 5, 2009 using face to face interviews of top and middle-level enterprise managers randomly selected from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Large Corporations in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas (Calaba) and Cagayan de Oro-Iligan City (CDO-I) clustered areas.
Of the identified clusters, Davao City topped in most of the transparency and accountability areas.
The results of the surveys showed that Davao City has the lowest rate of reporting bribe-solicitation along with NCR both with only 6 percent of respondents claiming to have formally reported corruption complaints. Cebu has 16, while Calaba and CDO-I both posted 11 percent.
In the area of transparency, 78 percent of the respondents in Davao City said transaction procedures in the city government offices are transparent and understandable.
NCR has 74, Calaba has 62, Cebu has 82 and CDO-I has 67.
In terms of accessibility, 70 percent of respondents in the city said the process of business permits renewal has become easier. NCR has 47, CALABA has 48, Cebu has 61 and CDO-I has 67.
In renewing local permits and licences 73 percent of enterprise managers polled in Davao City did not use intermediaries. NCR has 66, Calaba has 70, Cebu has 64 and CDO-I has 67.
The SWS integrated surveys report showed that "fighting corruption" is the most important concern of business leaders and the general public in choosing their candidates to vote for in the coming May 10 elections.