As explained earlier, apart from signing on to the Impeachment Complaint, the Black & White Movement's been neck-deep involved in the STOP Cha Cha Campaign. We have been conducting forums all over the country on a shoe-string budget, with the help of our partner CSOs, engaging our people on the perils of Gloria's Charter Change. Some of you have seen us on television, on the streets as well. It's been grueling, but none of us regrets being exhausted.
The government hasn't been sleeping, its henchmen have been everywhere as well, spreading their bogus word, "collecting" signatures for their bogus initiative. Their coffers are deep, their message persuasive to some. Palace power is formidable, and rumor has it that another government institution may fold under Palace pressure and reverse itself to allow PIG (People's Initiative of Gloria) to prosper. Which one? When will shameless behavior end?
Meanwhile, our people remain deeply divided, a consensus doesn't seem near. No matter, we continue to press our case, despite the formidable odds. And hard work can pay off. After the disappointment over the CBCP's latest Pastoral Letter, we were due for some upliftment. Here are the latest SWS Survey results on Charter Change:
SWS Media Release / 13 July 2006
June 2006 Social Weather Survey:
“NO” VOTE IN CHA-CHA PLEBISCITE RISES TO 67%; ONLY 6.8% HAVE SIGNED AN INITIATIVE-PETITION
Mahar Mangahas, Social Weather Stations
The Social Weather Survey of June 22-28, 2006 finds that those intending to vote “No,” if a plebiscite to approve constitutional amendments were held today, have grown to a solid majority of 67% of all Filipino adults, compared to a small majority of 56% in the previous SWS national survey of March 8-14, 2006.
Among those surveyed, only 15% had been approached to sign a petition favoring constitutional amendments. Among them there were 6.8 percentage points who signed, 7.2 percentage points who did not sign, and a one-point balance who would not say if they signed or not. [Table 1]
Below the required 12%
The roughly 7% proportion of signatories in the survey, as well as the total of 8% in case the No-Answers are assumed to be signatories also, are statistically below the constitutional minimum requirement of 12% of the national electorate in order for an amendment to be directly proposed by popular initiative.
Six of every ten of those approached on a petition said that they were not shown the amendments which they were asked to sign. Less than half of those who signed, and one-fourth of those who did not sign although approached to do so, were shown amendments to read. [Table 2]
“No” leads in all areas
Those saying they will vote “No” in a plebiscite for a new constitution described as “what the President wants” (“sa bagong Konstitusyon na gusto ng Pangulo”) are 83% in Metro Manila, 64% in the Balance of Luzon, 60% in the Visayas, and 68% in Mindanao. [Table 3]
The “No” vote is 60% in the middle-to-upper ABC classes, 68% in the masa or D class, and 66% in the very poor E class.
Even among those who said they signed a petition, the “No” vote outscores the “Yes” vote by 48% to 46%, with the balance saying Don’t Know/No Answer.
Among those who were approached to sign a petition but did not do so, 84% said they would vote “No.”
Distribution of the petition
The movement for the petition appears strongest in the Visayas, where 21% of the respondents said that their signatures were solicited. The solicitation rate was 16% in both Mindanao and Metro Manila, and 12% in the Balance of Luzon.
Among those solicited, the rate of signing was 51% in Mindanao, 46% in the Visayas, 43% in Metro Manila, and 41% in the Balance of Luzon.
Relevance of Presidential performance
Public opinion about the performance of the President is relevant, but is not a deciding factor, in the dominance of the “No” vote in case of a plebiscite on constitutional amendments.
The “No” vote in the SWS survey got 54% from those satisfied, 67% from those neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 76% from those dissatisfied, with the President. [Table 4]
The “Yes” vote has a majority only among those few (9%) who are Very Satisfied with the President. It is a minority among those who are Somewhat Satisfied with her.
Mixed feelings about Comelec
As of June 2006, feelings about the Commission on Elections are still mixed, with 34% of those surveyed agreeing, versus 37% disagreeing, that “The Comelec can be trusted to honestly count the votes of the people in a plebiscite to ratify a new Constitution.” [Table 5]
This is statistically unchanged from the March 2006 SWS survey’s finding of 30% agreeing and 34% disagreeing with the same statement.
The Social Weather Survey for the Second Quarter of 2006 was done over June 22 to 28, 2006, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for area percentages). The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium-population projections for 2006 to obtain the national estimates.
The survey items on charter change were not commissioned, but were done on SWS's own initiative and are being released immediately as a public service. The Social Weather Surveys are supported by subscribers, who have no proprietary rights over non-commissioned data.