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Most Filipinos satisfied with Duterte but worried by tirades vs leaders

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte maintained a "very good" net satisfaction rating among Filipinos but has caused concern, especially among his fellow Mindanaoans, over his curse-laden insults against foreign leaders, the results of a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

The results of the survey, first published in BusinessWorld, showed that he garnered a net satisfaction rating of +63, which SWS classifies as "very good," consistent with his +64 net rating in September.

The survey was conducted from December 3 to 6 and involved face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide. 

Among the interviewees, 77% said they were satisfied with his performance, 13% were dissatisfied, while 10% were undecided, for a +63 net rating.

Duterte experienced the biggest erosion in satisfaction in his home region, Mindanao. His December rating dropped by 11 points, from +85 in September to +74.

Despite the drop, his Mindanao score is still classified as an "excellent" satisfaction rating and is still the highest satisfaction rating among all geographical areas, where he kept "very good" ratings.

Foul mouth

It seems that part of Mindanaoans' concerns with the President is his tendency to insult foreign dignitaries in public.

The survey results showed that 51% of Filpinos disagree with Duterte's habit of cursing other leaders, 31% agreed, and 17% undecided.

The respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with this statement: "President Duterte's habit of publicly cursing foreign or international officials whom he does not like is harmful to the Philippines' relations with the countries or institutions of those officials."

Mindanaoans agreed the most that Duterte's public insults to foreign officials can harm the Philippines' ties with other countries and international organizations.

In Mindanao, net agreement was highest with a score of +25 or "strong" agreement – 52% of respondents agreed while 27% disagreed.

Balance of Luzon respondents agreed with the statement on a "moderate" level of +18, followed by Metro Manila ("moderate," +18) and Visayas ("moderate," +12).

In terms of economic class, Filipinos in the poorest Class E are the ones who agree the most that Duterte's insults are bad for the country, with net agreement at a "strong" +21.

In his first months in office, Duterte repeatedly cursed US President Barack Obama and the US government, in general, after the US leader and the US State Department called him out on possible human rights abuses in his war on drugs. 

Others critics have not been spared from the Philippine leader's acerbic tirades, among them, United Nations Secteray-General Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations, and the European Union. 

When it became clear that he won the presidency, Duterte promised to kick his cursing habit but later said it was part of his character.

Malacañang asked for the people's "understanding" regarding the President's "colorful language."

"On the President’s colorful language, we ask for our people’s understanding as these utterances are not personal attacks directed at particular persons but mere expressions of disgust and impatience over the many unresolved and unaddressed issues that remain pervasive to this day," said Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Andanar also said that the high satisfaction rating of the President will serve as an "inspiration" for him to work harder. – Pia Ranada/ Rappler.com