WHO can argue with Readers Digest? In its March 2010 issue, the prestigious international magazine ranked Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte the 5th most trusted politician in the Philippines. The mayor also ranked 47th in the list of 80 other Filipinos from various fields of endeavors.

Being "Most trusted" speaks of the peoples trust on an individual who performs beyond their expectation and, in the case of politicians, an individual who works beyond his or her mandate.

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The survey which was done by the Reader's Digest placed the icon of the Philippine National Red Cross Rosa Rosal on top of the list with Lea Salonga second.

Senator Noynoy Aquino, top the list of most trusted in the political category with Gov. Vilma Santos placing second; Senator Mar Roxas, third; Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, fourth and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte fifth.

Duterte moreover enjoys the distinction as the only politician from Mindanao who landed in the honor roll of the most trusted among the political figures. He shares the limelight with Manny Pacquiao in the general category listing although both are the only ones outside of Metro Manila and Luzon who made it on the list of 80.

This validates what we have been saying all along that the mayor enjoys high credibility in leadership and popularity not only in Davao but nationwide. Amidst the magma of charges which his political adversaries are hurling against him here is one more testament to Mayor Duterte's trustworthiness.

City Hall is not making a loud noise but I am certain that the rah-rah boys of the mayor are smiling from ear to ear. In fact I won't blame them if right now they are rolling in laughter because hardly had the March issue of the Reader's Digest hit the newsstands the national dailies came out with a front page story of the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showing Speaker Prospero "Boy" Nograles at the bottom of the pit with a rating of net satisfaction rating of -20 (read negative 20). SWS dubbed the Nograles-led Congress as "very poor".

The trust poll conducted by Reader's Digest is not similar to the surveys paid for by politicians or commercial firms. But the Nograles camp can always repair to the telephone survey done by an unknown company which claims to be based in Cebu City.

I am sure many of my readers at one time or another had received call from the firm's polltakers who coach respondents to give out answers that they wanted. Those idiots should have done the shortcut and went ahead to fabricate their own survey results.

But then I admire them for their diligence. Twice I received calls of this "center" from Cebu, the first time in my office and the next in my residence. They asked exactly the same sets of questions. In one, the pollster states: What do you think are the most crucial issues in the coming elections in Davao City? Extra-judicial killing, Human Rights Violation, or Corruption. When I answered "THE LEGACY SCAM", the pollster objected saying I should only select one among those he mentioned.

I went along with his wish list. In the end he asked me whether I want to know the latest standing of the candidates. "Sure," I said. Then he went on to say that the leading candidates in Davao City are: President - Noynoy Aquino, Vice President - Mar Roxas. For Congressman in the 1st District - Karlo Nograles, 2nd District - Joji Bian, and 3rd District - Ruy Lopez. For Mayor - Boy Nograles; Vice Mayor - "sa ngayon" Rodrigo Duterte.

When I said, "Si Ben de Guzman lang pala ang nilaglag ninyo", the pollster got irked. "Anong ibig mong sabihin na nilaglag naming si Ben?" Well, end of story.

If they are winning in all fronts then why be frantic? The human rights issue did not wash and neither did the Commission on Audit report and the dismantling of the cement cover on the main drainage canal made a dint. And now here comes another Ombudsman investigation of a missing P12-million Local School Board fund. This time Mayor Duterte and Mabel Sunga Acosta, who were just given recognition by the Asian Institute of Management for having steered the City's LSB to being the best in the country, are being charged by the Ombudsman.

Some people are panicking and are shooting from the hips. With Mabel included as target, it only indicates that she is soaring high and has to be shot down.

Tssk, tssk, tssk...