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Duterte defies critics as approval, trust ratings remain high: Survey

Duterte defies critics as approval,
trust ratings remain high: Survey

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s public approval ratings have stayed high as he enters the third year of his six-year term, according to survey results released on Friday.
Duterte score an approval rating of 81 per cent in the December survey, conducted nationwide by the Manila-based Pulse Asia Research Inc. The rating was up 6 percentage points from the last survey in September.
The 73-year-old leader’s trust rating was also flying at 76 per cent, up 4 percentage points from September’s survey, Pulse Asia said.
The high scores show the public’s “continued appreciation” of Duterte’s work, despite unrelenting criticism over his anti-drug campaign and misogynistic statements, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
“The survey results underscore that our people fully believe in the methods undertaken by the president in running the bureaucracy and the country,” he added.
Panelo noted the high approval and trust ratings came even after Duterte was lambasted for seeking a third extension of martial law in the south, approving a hike in fuel excise taxes and his “hyperbolic style of delivering his narratives on certain issues.”
“It appears that the tirades against President Duterte have been ignored by a huge majority of Filipinos,” he said. “The Pulse Asia survey is therefore another repudiation of the [President’s] critics and detractors.”
Since Duterte became president in 2016, his administration has launched an aggressive crackdown against illegal drugs in the Philippines, which has left more than 5,000 suspected drug pushers and users killed in police operations.
Duterte’s approval ratings are the highest in Mindanao with a 96 percent rating; followed by the Visayas at 86 percent; then Luzon at 74 percent, and 69 percent in the National Capital Region. Some of the big current events leading up to the survey period include the graft conviction of former First Lady Imelda Marcos; the acquittal of former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.; the House of Representatives’ approval of the federal charter; and the conviction of three police officers involved in the 2017 killing of teenager Kian Delos Santos.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo scored a 62-percent approval rating and Senate President Vicente Sotto III ended the year with 74 percent. Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal Arroyo scored a 27 percent approval rating, the only top official to score below 50 percent.
According to Pulse Asia, there was improvement across geographic areas and socio-economic classes in the approval ratings of President Duterte (increase of eight percentage points), Vice-President Robredo (increase of eight percentage points), and Senate President Sotto (increase of eight percentage points) occur in the rest of Luzon.
“These are the only notable changes as far as these government officials’ performance ratings are concerned,” they survey said.
“In terms of their trustworthiness, Senate President Sotto enjoys an increase in his trust score in the rest of Luzon by eight percentage points, but Vice-President Robredo’s rating declined in the Visayas by 16 percentage points.
Duterte’s trust ratings also improved by four points from 72 percent in September, to 76 percent in the December survey. Robredo and Sotto’s trust ratings remained unchanged from the last survey at 56 and 66 percent respectively.

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