MANILA President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is considered the most corrupt Philippine leader in history, more than Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada, who were ousted from office, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday.
The poll by Pulse Asia Inc showed that Arroyo was considered the most corrupt Philippine president by 42 percent of the 1,200 respondents.
Thirty-five percent of respondents considered Marcos the most corrupt and 16 percent Estrada. Marcos fled the country in 1986 after a "people power" revolution and died in exile.
Estrada was ousted in 2001 and was convicted earlier this year of plunder and sentenced to life in prison. Arroyo granted him a pardon soon thereafter and freed him from detention.
The Pulse Asia poll was conducted in October, when Arroyo's government was plagued by allegations of kickbacks in a deal with China's ZTE Corp to set up a broadband network linking government offices. The names of both Arroyo and her husband came up in a Senate inquiry into the $330 million deal, but neither was personally accused of receiving kickbacks.
Arroyo's term lasts until 2010 and political analysts say she is unlikely to face any problems in completing it. Her supporters dominate the House of Representatives, where any move to impeach her must begin, and she is backed by the military.
(Reporting by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)