Duterte trust rating dips: Palace confident; critics see downtrend
Is it continued confidence in President Duterte’s leadership or growing frustration over his supposed unkept promises?
Malacañang and the opposition on Friday gave contrasting interpretations of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed a 10-point drop in the President’s overall net trust rating.
The March 23-27 survey found 76 percent of 1,200 adults had “much trust” in Mr. Duterte, down from 83 percent in December.
It said 10 percent of respondents had “little trust” in him, up from 7 percent in December.
The President’s “excellent” +75 net trust rating in December fell 10 points to a “very good” +65 in March, the pollster said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace welcomed the survey results, which showed that many Filipinos continued to have confidence in Mr. Duterte, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao—the President’s bailiwicks.
“We are thus grateful for our people’s vote of confidence with significant trust in the President, amid being subject to unending criticisms and attacks,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Duterte will pursue the antidrug campaign and other programs to improve the lives of Filipinos and make the country “strong and resilient,” Roque said. Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs has left more than 4,100 dead in police operations.
Rep. Tom Villarin of the opposition Akbayan party-list said the drop in Mr. Duterte’s trust rating showed growing doubt among Filipinos on whether he could “deliver the change he promised.”
He said people also had grown tired of Mr. Duterte’s “fist-bump governance amplified by an acoustics of violent language,” a reference to the President’s foulmouthed rants against his critics, including foreign groups.
“It’s worrisome and weary-some as people want jobs, livelihood and controlling inflation as priorities, not his push for federalism and Charter change,” Villarin said.
Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the decline in trust on Mr. Duterte indicated the “start of a downward trend” for the President despite efforts by his supporters and the alleged “fake news apparatus” of the administration to keep him popular.
The fall was “inevitable” as a growing number of Filipinos realized that the President’s “promise of change is nothing but a sham,” Tinio said.
“Instead of ending the drug trade, he has instigated the mass murder of suspected drug users from among the poor while coddling known drug lords.”
Drops across regions
SWS, whose survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points, did not give a reason for the ratings drop.
The survey showed Mr. Duterte’s net trust rating fell a notch in Metro Manila—from an “excellent” +73 to a “very good” +62.
It remained “excellent” but fell by six points to +70 in the Visayas and slid 5 points to +89 in Mindanao.
Higher among college grads
It went down 3 points to +53 but still “very good” in the rest of Luzon.
By educational attainment, Mr. Duterte’s net trust rating was higher among college graduates than those with a lower education attainment.
It rose 3 points to +76 among college graduates but fell 15 points to +58 among grade school graduates and by 12 points to +66 among high school graduates.
It also went down 2 points to +68 among those with some elementary education.
SWS has nine net trust ratings catergories: excellent (+70 and above), very good (+50 to +69), good (+30 to +49), moderate (+10 to +29), neutral (+9 to -9), poor (-10 to -29), bad (-30 to -49), very bad (-50 to -69) and execrable (-70 and below). —WITH INQUIRER RESEARCH
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