More Pinoys frown on Duterte govt’s 'unequal' enforcement of law
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A majority of Filipinos continued to approve of the Duterte administration’s performance on most leading national concerns, but gave the government significantly lower marks in the equal enforcement of the law, according to the latest Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey released on Friday, October 20.
The administration obtained lower approval ratings in fighting criminality and corruption – both falling by 6 percentage points – and a "significant" 7-percentage point drop in approval on "enforcing the law on all, whether on influential or ordinary people," Pulse Asia said in a statement.
“For the period June to September 2017, the only significant change in the national administration’s performance ratings is the decline in the level of appreciation for its efforts to enforce the law equally on all citizens (-7 percentage points),” said Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes.
Another Pulse Asia survey, also conducted in September, showed that most Filipinos believed extrajudicial killings (EJKs) were happening in the Duterte administration's war on drugs. The campaign has been criticized for targeting mostly poor drug suspects.
In September, the government got a 78% approval rating in fighting criminality, from 84% in June; and 70% approval in fighting graft and corruption in government, from 76%. Approval for the equal enforcement of the law fell to 67% from 74%.
The government got majority public approval on most of the 12 national concerns cited in the survey conducted from September 24 to 30, except on poverty reduction and controlling inflation.
Filipinos gave the government the highest approval rating in its response to the needs of calamity victims and fighting criminality, both at 78%, followed by protection for the welfare of overseas Filipino workers at 76%.
The other issues where the government obtained majority approval are on fighting corruption (70%), protecting the environment (68%), enforcing the rule of law (67%), promoting peace (67%), defending national territorial integrity (65%), creating more jobs (63%), and increasing workers’ pay (58%).
The government did not get public majority approval on its performance in reducing poverty (49%) and controlling inflation (45%). Controlling inflation is the top urgent national concern of Filipinos, according to the survey.
Rising prices top concern among Filipinos
The survey results also showed that rising prices, higher pay for workers, and fighting criminality remain the top concerns of Filipinos.
Based on the survey, 50% of Filipinos believe that the government should prioritize reining in prices of basic goods.
Other urgent national concerns are increasing workers’ pay (42%), fighting criminality (36%), creating more jobs (32%), fighting corruption in government (28%), and reducing poverty (28%), peace promotion (21%), equal enforcement of the rule of law (16%).
Holmes said Filipinos are “least concerned” about environmental degradation (14%), reducing the amount of taxes paid by citizens (9%), controlling rapid population growth (8%), protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (6%), preparing to successfully deal with terrorism (5%), defending national territorial integrity (4%), and amending the 1987 Philippine Constitution (2%).
The Pulse Asia president also said that Filipinos’ sense of urgency on the 15 national issues in the survey “hardly” changed, except on the issues of inflation and fighting criminality, which both increased by 8 percentage points or from 42% to 50%, and from 28% to 36%, respectively.
“Year-on-year, there is a single notable change – the 13-percentage point rise in the percentage of Filipinos who consider the need to control inflation as an urgent national concern,” Holmes added.
He also said that the majority of residents in the Visayas (51%), Mindanao (51%), and the rest of Luzon (52%) cited rising prices as the most pressing national concern, while in Metro Manila, the most urgent concern is increasing workers' pay (45%).
"Across socio-economic classes, most of those in Class E are concerned about inflation (56%). In Class D, the top national concerns are inflation (48%) and workers’ pay (41%) while in Class ABC, the most urgent national concerns are inflation (50%), workers’ pay (37%), criminality (36%), and corruption (36%)," Holmes said.
Malacañang said the results of the survey show that the Duterte administration is "in the right direction when it made fighting criminality and fighting corruption as its centerpiece program."
"We thank our people for recognizing the efforts of the current government in delivering on this front," Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Friday.
The Palace made no mention of the significant decline in public approval for the the government's efforts to enforce the law equally.
Despite the lower approval ratings for the government's fight against crime and corruption, Malacañang emphasized that a majority of Filipinos still approve of the administration's efforts on these key issues.
"The survey results indeed underscore the President’s promise of genuine change to have safe neighborhoods and peaceful communities under a trustworthy government has been felt by people on the ground," said Abella.
The nationwide survey, which is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above, has a ±3% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey have a ±6% error margin, also at the 95% confidence level.
The major news in the days leading to the survey and during the survey period included the Senate probe into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China, the filing of double murder charges against Caloocan police and others for the killing of teenagers Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo "Kulot" de Guzman, and the grant of bail to former senator Jinggoy Estrada. – Rappler.com