‘Honeymoon’ over, opposition says after drop in Duterte ratings

Patty Pasion
‘Honeymoon’ over, opposition says after drop in Duterte ratings

News And Information Bureau

Critics say Filipinos are now seeing the truth behind President Rodrigo Duterte's 'empty' promise of change

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition group Tindig Pilipinas said the steep drop in President Rodrigo Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings is an expected development that means his “honeymoon” with Filipinos is over.

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. He registered a +48 net satisfaction rating, still classified as “good” by the SWS.

The President’s net trust rating also dipped by 15 points in the same survey, to a “very good” +60.

“While his government was focused on killing the poor and balkanizing our democratic institutions, his administration has miserably failed to deliver on his promises – peace in Mindanao, housing, solutions to traffic, end to endo, employment, among others,” Tindig Pilipinas said in a statement on Sunday. 

“Finally, the huge drop in the President’s rating must serve notice to him: the people expect nothing but the truth on the allegations of corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and drug smuggling facilitation leveled against him and members of his family,” the coalition added.

The Office of the Ombudsman is looking into the wealth of the Duterte family. Duterte, meanwhile, said he will set up an independent body to investigate the corruption inside the Office of the Ombudsman.

Coalition member Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the latest SWS survey results prove the waning support for the bloody war against drugs.

“The survey results may be indicative of the decline of support [for] the war on drugs and the strong opposition [to] the prevalent human rights violations under the Duterte administration. The results would also bear the continuous decline of Duterte’s net satisfaction among Class D or the masa (poor) which are the main victims of the selective war on drugs,” said Alejano, who filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte which was junked by the President’s allies at the House of Representatives.

Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, a member of the House opposition, urged Duterte to use his political capital “to do what is right.”

“More people are starting to see through the propaganda. That no matter what it claims, the killings, the lack of action on the economic front are taking their toll on his numbers,” Baguilat said. 

Duterte not ‘untouchable’

ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio, a member of the left-leaning Makabayan bloc, also said the “myth” of Duterte’s popularity is already over.

“Hindi siya untouchable. Nalantad na ang kahungkagan ng kanyang pangakong pagbabago; ang brutalidad ng kanyang mga giyera kontra droga at kontra sa mga rebelde, na bumibiktima sa maralita sa kalunsuran at kanayunan; at ang hagupit ng kanyang mga economic policies, na pumapabor sa ilang mayaman at dayuhan habang hindi nagbibigay ng trabaho at serbisyo sa maralita,” said Tinio.  

(He’s not untouchable. The emptiness of his promise of change has already been exposed; the brutality of his war against drugs and war against rebels that victimize the urban and rural poor; the effects of his economic policies that favor the rich and the foreigners without giving jobs and services to the poor.)

Another Makabayan lawmaker, Gabriela Representative Emmi de Jesus, said Filipinos are now “seeing through” the President’s “hype and fake news.”

[They] are realizing that change is not coming under President Duterte’s watch, given the soaring prices of practically all commodities, nonstop extrajudicial killings, failure to end contractualization, failure to solve the Marawi crisis despite the imposition of Mindanao-wide martial law, and the unresolved Customs shabu smuggling issue,” she said.

“In fact, [Duterte’s] reign in the Palace for more than a year made the lives of the majority of Filipinos worse than before.”

The Makabayan bloc, composed of 7 party-list representatives, broke away from the House majority last September, citing Duterte’s “fascist, pro-imperialist, and anti-people policies.

For Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, a Duterte ally, the ratings “can turn around in weeks.”

“Public opinion is quite malleable… easily shaped by twists and turns in current events,” she said.

“Recent weeks’ developments have not been generally favorable to President Duterte, but his base of support remains solid, in my view. The 16 million who voted for him in May 2016, I believe are still there,” she added. – Rappler.com

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.