Politicians least trusted to respect human rights of Filipinos – SWS

Jodesz Gavilan
The Social Weather Stations survey also shows that teachers are the most trusted to have true respect for human rights

MANILA, Philippines – A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found that politicians are the least trusted when it comes to true respect for human rights of Filipinos. 

Results of a March 2018 SWS survey released on Wednesday, October 10, showed that politicians got a net trust rating of only +8 – the lowest among 12 occupations included in the survey commissioned by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). 

Teachers, meanwhile, garnered the highest net trust rating of +87, followed by church or religious leaders with +75, soldiers with +73, and doctors with +70.

Human rights advocates were in 5th place with a net trust rating of +56, followed by barangay leaders (+44), judges (+39), police (+38), private lawyers (+38), prosecutors (+34), businessmen (+14), and politicians (+14). 

The SWS survey was conducted among 2,000 people aged 15 and up in Metro Manila, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The sampling error margins were ±2.2% nationwide and ±5% for each area.

Human rights in the Philippines has been the subject of controversies under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Various groups have said that Duterte demonizes human rights, painting it as an obstacle to the change he wants to achieve for the country. (READ: Powering through a crisis: Defending human rights under Duterte)

Human rights defenders have been publicly condemned and threatened by no less than the President and his allies. These threats have led to actual deaths as 60 defenders died in the hands of unidentified gunmen in 2017 alone, according to a report by Ireland-based Front Line Defenders. (READ: Protecting human rights groups vs threats) 

Groups are now focusing on education – in schools and communities – to further deepen the understanding of human rights in the country and to battle misinformation.

According to CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit, the survey results are very telling of the need to focus on teachers as ambassadors of the right to life.

“We are directed by this knowledge not only to focus on teachers but also on the youth as right to life ambassadors to further our cause of building a nation that upholds the protection and promotion of the right to life,” Dumpit said. – Rappler.com

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.