Duterte's public support falls amid killings in drug war

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Supermajority members in the House of Representatives said yesterday that President Duterte's double-digit drop in his satisfaction and trust ratings for the third quarter of this year is not a big deal.

Duterte's net satisfaction rating among Classes A, B, and C last June 2017 is 59 points, while he got 66 points among the Filipino masses. President Duterte's net satisfaction rating declined by 18 points in the September 2017 survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Sunday, October 8.

Sen. Francis G. Escudero also advised the Duterte administration to take the survey as a wake-up call, voicing hope they will "be less nonchalant, arrogant and cavalier, especially on the part of some Cabinet and police officials". The government says about 3,800 people have died at the hands of police in the drugs war, while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say the number is more than 7,000. Similarly, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino noted that "the drop in President Duterte's approval and trust ratings should serve as wake-up call for the Philippine National Police to rethink its strategy for the drug war and address the killings in our communities". "It is a whole system approach", he said, adding that the government would continue to make sure that it would deliver on Duterte's campaign promises a year ago.

The government, however, provided a much lower figure of drug-related killings.

"President Duterte's authoritarian style of governance is losing its appeal and support among the public".

Critics of the president have been quick to take advantage of his ratings slump, which they say reflects discontent and scepticism about his drugs war.

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"The survey showed deep damage to the President's reputation", she said. "Mr. President, we reiterate our call: sign the bank waiver!"

Human-rights groups have routinely accused Duterte's administration of condoning extra-judicial killings in its quest to crack down on illegal drugs.

Abella said Duterte's survey scores remained in the "good" and "very good" level, respectively.

However, 67 per cent of the respondents claimed to be "satisfied" with Duterte's management as opposed to 19 per cent who were not, and 14 per cent were undecided, according to the survey of 1,500 people polled throughout the country at the end of September.

"Despite this public satisfaction remains "good" and public trust remains 'very good.' It is worth noting that surveys are snapshots of the public mood at a given time and the SWS survey was conducted between September 23-27, just two days after the National Day of Protest - the bold (Duterte) initiative allowing citizens to freely vent their grievances about the excesses and shortcomings of the government - and some sentiments may have spilled over", he added.

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