Analysts expect Aquino's ratings to drop

Posted at 08/30/2010 11:57 PM | Updated as of 08/31/2010 1:27 PM

MANILA, Philipines - Many were disappointed with how President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III responded to the Manila hostage crisis, which is why some political analysts believe his popularity ratings could suffer.

Aquino assumed the country's presidency 2 months ago carrying the trust and hopes of a people hungry for change.

But in what is believed to be the biggest test so far of his administration, some believe he had failed.   

Comments against the President flood social networking sites.

There's even a video game on the Internet called "Shoot the Smiling President."

On the streets, people have clashing views.

"Sa presidente natin, dapat bigyan ng aksyon, di ba? Lalo na, masisira ang Pilipinas pagdating sa ibang bansa," says a taxi driver.

On the other hand, a college student says the President shouldn't be blamed. "Dapat huwag natin ibuhos iyong galit natin kay Presideny Noynoy, kasi hindi naman siya ang pulis."
 
Dr. Prospero de Vera of the University of the Philippines believes the administration must brace itself for an early decline in popularity.
   
He said it was such a huge mistake for the President not to have handled the crisis directly.

"Filipinos have a very high expectation of their president, and they want a president who responds in times of crisis. And this recent incident has shown that people were dissatisfied with the response of the President," De Vera said.  "I expect the approval rating to go down from between 10% to 15%."

For another political analyst, however, a decline is just normal, especially in the case of President Aquino, who started his term with a record-high trust rating.

"Kahit wala 'tong krisis, mangyayari talaga iyon. Pero ang babantayan mo diyan siyempre, kung gaano kabilis, hanggang saan bumagsak," said Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Economic Reform.
 
Many analysts believe the hostage crisis won't destroy the Aquino administration, but De Vera thinks it may create a gap between the President and his boss, the people.

When he took his oath here at the Quirino Grandstand, President Aquino enjoyed the trust of so many Filipinos, trust that he can maintain or totally lose, depending on what happens to the investigation into the tragedy that happened right at the Quirino Grandstand where he assumed power.