MANILA - Malacañang on Friday welcomed results of the latest Pulse Asia survey showing President Rodrigo Duterte retaining “big majority” approval and trust ratings despite criticism of his fierce war on drugs and allegations of hidden wealth.
The Sept. 24 to 30 poll of 1,200 respondents showed 80 percent trust and approval of Duterte, Pulse Asia said in a statement. This compared to 81 percent trust and 82 percent approval in June, with the difference still within the 3-point error margin.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that Duterte retained the high ratings “at the height of the demolition job against the President, even implicating some members of the President’s family.”
He was referring to allegations of corruption against Duterte's eldest son Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and son-in-law Manases Carpio. Both denied allegations they were involved in smuggling and illegal drugs.
“Despite the multi-faceted political noise, President Duterte is still the most approved and most trusted government official in the Philippines today,” Abella said in a news conference in Malacañang.
“We hope the survey results inspire us in the government that despite the odds and challenges, we continue to provide a comfortable life for Filipinos in an environment free from drugs and criminality,” he added.
The Pulse Asia survey was released just days after a separate poll by the Social Weather Stations, which showed double-digit declines in Duterte's satisfaction and trust ratings.
The SWS survey asked respondents to "tell how satisfied or dissatisfied" they were with the President and "indicate if your trust/faith is Very much, Somewhat much, Undecided if much or little, Somewhat little, Very little, or You have not heard or read anything about [Duterte] ever?"
Pulse Asia meanwhile asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with and trust in Duterte and other top Philippine officials.
The SWS survey said net public satisfaction with Duterte plunged 18 points to +48 from +66 in June, while his net trust rating fell 15 points to +60 from +75.
The SWS survey was conducted at a time when the administration drew heavy criticism for its war on drugs following teen deaths in questionable police operations.
In the wake of the release of the SWS survey results, Duterte decided to strip the Philippine National Police the power to carry out the drug war, giving the task to the much smaller Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.