2 senators expect Duterte drop in rating
President Rodrigo Duterte’s 11- percentage drop in approval rating based on the latest Social Weather Station did not come as a surprise, at least for two senators.
“The drop in [the] approval rating of the President is expected. That has always been the trend,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in a text message on Wednesday.
“But 65% is still very good,” Recto said, referring to the 65 percent gross satisfaction rating that Duterte received based on the survey conducted from June 27 to 30.
The survey though showed that the President’s net satisfaction rating dropped by 11-percent —from 56 percent in March 2018 to 45 percent in June this year.
Recto said Duterte should use his political capital “wisely.”
“Fighting the Church and calling God stupid is unnecessarily utilizing political capital,” he said.
The senator also warned that the proposed shift to federalism could only further divide the people, instead of uniting them.
“Federalism will further divide us. May even destroy whatever economic gains we have achieved,” Recto said.
“He must use his political capital in reforming our institutions and addressing inequity in society while promoting sustained economic growth etc.,” he added.
But for Duterte’s staunch critic, opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the drop in the President’s approval rating was proof that the latter’s “myth” was already gone.
“The novelty of his crass behavior is gone too. The people have finally seen the light,” Trillanes said in a separate statement.
“It took the rising cost of living to expose Duterte as nothing more than a one-trick pony,” he added.
Duterte, however, remained unfazed by the latest result of the SWS.
Trillanes noted that the June survey did not cover yet the negative effects of what he described “oppressive anti-tambay” campaign of the administration, Duterte’s “highly offensive anti-God statements” and the “unconscionable fare hikes.”
“So, the downward trend of Duterte’s rating is expected to continue,” he said.
Church, rights groups not surprised, too
In Iloilo City, Church and human rights groups here said the significant drop in net satisfaction rating of President Duterte reflected growing discontent and disillusionment of the people two years after he was elected into office.
“We are not surprised. More and more people including those who have defended him before are speaking out especially that he has not spared even God in his tirades,” said Fr. Marco Sulayao, chairperson of the Promotion of Church People’s Response in Panay.
Sulayao, a priest of the Philippine Independent Church, said members of their church who are supporters of the President were angered after he called God “stupid” in one of his tirades.
“That drew the line for many. That was too much and we cannot let this pass,” Sulayao said.
Sulayao said a growing number of people are also incensed with the sharp increase in prices of fuel and essential commodities with the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
The Social Weather Station survey conducted from June 27 to 30 showed that the President’s net satisfaction rating fell to a new personal low to 45 percent, an 11-percent drop from 56 percent.
Reylan Vergara, secretary general of the human rights group Karapatan, said the decline in the President’s net satisfaction rating could also be attributed to the growing alarm of the people to continued extrajudicial killings which have also included priests and local officials recently.
“More and more people are realizing and being convinced that Duterte’s promises of change, eradicating illegal drugs in six months and ending ‘Endo (end of contract labor practice)’are just that, promises,” Vergara said.
“The quality of life, especially of fix earners and those receiving the minimum wage, have worsened while officials of the administration are being linked to anomalies,” he said.
Vergara said they expect more people to join protest actions during the President’s State of the Nation Address on July 23. With a report from Nestor Burgos/jpv/ac
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