Duterte trust, performance ratings fall slightly
President Duterte continued to enjoy high trust and performance ratings in March though both measures declined slightly from the figures last December.
Seventy-six percent of 1,200 Filipinos surveyed by Pulse Asia nationwide said they trusted Mr. Duterte, a drop of seven points. His first quarter performance rating of 78 percent also slipped, from 83 percent.
Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon showed the largest drop in the President’s trust and performance ratings, as well as among poor respondents, said Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda.
In a statement, Tabunda said respondents who were better off gave Mr. Duterte a marked improvement in both performance and trust ratings.
Highest in Mindanao
The President scored highest in his home region of Mindanao.
The noncommissioned survey was conducted on March 15 to 20, about a week after police resumed a bloody antinarcotics crackdown in slum communities. It had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
Malacañang hailed the people’s continued trust in and approval of Mr. Duterte despite what it said was “vicious noise” from critics.
“The people continue to embrace the President’s vision of a nation that works for the prosperity of all; a trustworthy government; and lasting peace, considering that the survey coincided with vicious noise from the President’s fiercest critics,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said it was apparent that the honeymoon period accorded new leaders was over, following the drop in Mr. Duterte’s numbers.
“But the people still love him, his leadership and his unique style given his ‘corrected’ trust and performance ratings,” Pimentel said.
Reacting to the dip in Mr. Duterte’s trust and performance ratings, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Filipinos were beginning to see the light.
“I am very much encouraged by the declining numbers of Duterte … . By May, we expect it to go down further,” Trillanes said in a statement.
He said people were finally starting to see that the President’s campaign promise of radical change under his watch was not bearing fruit.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the 5 to 7 percentage point drop was not significant enough and something that would not ring alarm bells.
“It’s not unusual for the trust and performance ratings of any head of state in our country to slide in the course of time. The ‘honeymoon’ period will last sooner or later but it will come to that anyway,” Lacson said in a text message.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan hoped the President would use his trust ratings to “address the main concern of our citizens which are to address the rising prices of goods, create better paying jobs and improve incomes.”
The dip in the presidential numbers came at a time when retired Davao police officer Arturo Lascañas came forward to allege that Mr. Duterte was behind the Davao Death Squad and the suspension of “Oplan Tokhang” (war on drugs), according to Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
“It is costing the government’s popular support. In terms of area and social grouping, the biggest drop in the President’s approval and performance ratings happened in the National Capital Region and balance Luzon, the concentration of Oplan Tokhang, and among the Class D and E people, the same poor people who have borne the brunt of the government’s drug war,” she said. —REPORTS FROM LEILA B. SALAVERRIA, CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO, DJ YAP AND RAFAEL L. ANTONIO
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