SWS Website: The lead-off argument of the Supreme Court's majority decision on October 25 to reject the "People's Initiative" is that the great majority of the signatories were not told what amendments in the Constitution they were supposed to be petitioning for.This was for last week's headline that got picked up by the major mass media outlets (hook, line and stinker, as it were)
This is consistent with SWS's report: "Six of every ten of those approached on a petition said that they were not shown the amendments which they were asked to sign" in its July 13, 2006 Media Release "'No'Vote In Cha-cha Plebiscite Rises To 67%; Only 6.8% Have Signed A Petition."
(SWS October 23, 2006):
Third Quarter 2006 Social Weather Survey: 62% unsure if SC will decide fairly on "people's initiative" petition
which the Philippine Daily Inquirer spun into a screaming headline on the front page:
(PDI October 24, 2006):
60% of Filipinos doubt fairness of Supreme Court, says poll
Unknown to these faithless Filipinos a decision had already been reached even as the above headline hit the streets and airwaves, for on the very next day, like a thunderclap to shut them up...
(Supreme Court October 25, 2006)
Lambino v. Comelec: Sigaw ng Bayan people's initiative is insufficient in form and revision in substance!
Ha! I guess that really made poor Mahar Mangahas and/or his Media Release Bureau feel like a HEEL!
Thus, the thus above.
I have high respect for Mahar Mangahas. But SWS has become an institution, and the well-earned respect and sterling reputation for professionalism he has built, is in danger of being abused by the truly crafty and sophisticated, or, misused by a Media that refuses to send its reporters to school so they can report surveys and polls intelligently. As Adrian Cristobal says, "our ignorance is intentional."
The really ironic thing is that the proferred peace offering, the SWS's July 13, 2006 Media Release -- "This is CONSISTENT with the Supreme Court ruling." -- contradicts a key finding of fact in Lambino v. Comelec, that "not more than one million signatories saw the initiative petition before they signed. Unwittingly for Mahar, he may actually be offering a Trojan Horse that could appear in the Lambino Group's Motion for Reconsideration.
And here is the Inquirer's revealing apology by way of its Monday editorial, "Killing the Supreme Court, softly". Here we discover WHO that October 24 headline was designed and targeted to pressure: none other than Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, (who was formerly Publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer!) and who, it turns out, was the swing vote in the "close but firm" 8-7 Decision. PDI's juicy tidbit is that the Chief Justice will run for the Senate in the 2007 elections.