Pinoys satisfied with drug war but afraid in their communities, says SWS
Filipinos are satisfied with the war on drugs but remain fearful in their communities despite the promise of President Duterte that they will feel safe and sound under his rule, according to surveys by Social Weather Stations (SWS).
While the figures remained high, public satisfaction with the drug war showed a 7-percent drop from 84 percent in September 2016 to 77 percent in the same month this year.
A survey on “neighborhood fears” conducted in June showed that 59 percent were usually afraid that robbers might break into their houses; 52 percent were usually afraid to walk in the streets at night because it was not safe; and 48 percent said many people were addicted to banned drugs.
No. 1 reason
Vladymir Joseph Licudine, deputy director of SWS Survey Design, Analysis and Training, said that a still unreleased results of an SWS survey showed that the drug war was the “number one reason” given by respondents why they were satisfied or dissatisfied with Mr. Duterte.
“We have a question for their satisfaction and dissatisfaction with PRRD (Mr. Duterte’s initials). There are no figures yet, but the drug war was their number one reason for their satisfaction with PRRD,” Licudine said at an SWS forum on Wednesday night.
He said the drug war was also the No. 1 reason the respondents were “dissatisfied with PRRD because there are so many deaths.”
The forum tackled SWS survey results that indicated—as the pollster called the forum—
“What Filipinos Say About President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Drug War.”
The survey was conducted from Sept. 23 to 27, with 1,500 sample size nationwide. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
No cash reward for cops
Sixty-five percent of respondents disagreed that policemen should be given a cash reward
for every illegal drug-related killing; 15 percent agreed while 20 percent were undecided.
Forty-nine percent agreed that the “administration probably has people who secretly observe and report those who are users and those who are sellers of illegal drugs”; 19 percent disagreed, and 31 percent were undecided.
The survey also showed that 71 percent believed there were fewer drug addicts in their localities in the past six months, while 12 percent said the number of drug addicts was the same as before. Only 9 percent thought there were more drug addicts now.
A few weeks ago, SWS released a survey indicating that 76 percent of the respondents said it was “very important” that the police capture illegal drug trade suspects alive.
Licudine acknowledged that to many, there seemed to be a “disconnect” when people said they were satisfied with the administration’s war on drugs even as they raised concerns about it.
He said public satisfaction with the drug war stemmed from the perception that there were fewer drug addicts in the communities than six months ago.
“That is the basic response I can give you because that is the only consideration of the people … As regards to the other considerations, I think Filipinos don’t think holistically. In my opinion, we can compartmentalize,” he said.
Licudine likened it to the Filipinos’ trait of being “poor yet happy.”
“To other people, it might seem a disconnect. But to us researching on the quality of life, there is no disconnect to being poor and being happy,” he said.
But Licudine also admitted that to him, the drug war raised one important personal concern: “My fear in this drug war is I don’t know if Filipinos are changing their values, that they have learned to accept that there are many people dying.”