Majority of Filipinos find Duterte 'bastos' for insulting UN rights chief

MANILA, Philippines – A majority of Filipinos find President Rodrigo Duterte "bastos (vulgar)" for his curses and insults aimed at United Nations Human Rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Conducted from June 27 to 30, the poll results released on Sunday, July 22, showed that 64% of Filipinos think Duterte's "cursing the chief and members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and threatening to throw them to the crocodiles" is vulgar.

Meanwhile, 31% said it was not vulgar and 5% said they did not know.

The survey asked respondents on whether they think 3 specific acts of the President were "bastos (vulgar)" or "hindi bastos (not vulgar)."

The other two acts were his allegation that priests had two wives and his controversial kiss on the lips with a married Filipina in South Korea. The poll found that a majority of Filipinos also found these acts vulgar.

On the issue of priests, respondents were asked what they thought of Duterte's assertion that priests are "no better than him" and that "some priests have two wives."

The survey found that 55% found these remarks vulgar, 39% did not find it vulgar, and 6% did not know.

As for the kiss in South Korea, 52% said it was "bastos" while 40% said it was not. Six percent said they did not know.

SWS reported error margins of +/-3 for national percentages and +/-6 for percentages per geographic area. The survey involved 1,200 adults nationwide.

Effect on satisfaction rating

People who find Duterte "bastos" are more likely to be less satisfied with his performance,  the survey found.

Respondents who said they found the 3 acts vulgar gave him a net satisfaction rating of "moderate," which in SWS corresponds to a net rating of +10 to +29. This is in contrast to the "excellent" rating he got from respondents who did not find his acts vulgar.

Those who disapprove of his remarks on the UN rights chief gave him a net satisfaction score of +28. Those who thought his claims about priests was vulgar gave him a score of +27 while those who found his kiss with a married Filipina vulgar gave him a score of +23.

Mindanao ace

A half to a majority of respondents in Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, and Visayas found those 3 acts of Duterte to be vulgar. But it's a different story in Mindanao where less than half found the acts vulgar.

In the case of the President's insults to the UN rights council, Metro Manila and Balance of Luzon had the greatest percentage of people saying this was "bastos" (both 71%). This was followed by Visayas (62%) and Mindanao (47%).

It was in the Visayas where the highest percentage of people found Duterte's claims about priests "bastos" at 62%. This was followed by Metro Manila and Balance of Luzon (both 57%) then Mindanao (44%).

The Visayas also had the biggest chunk of respondents saying the OFW kiss was vulgar at 64%, followed by Balance of Luzon (55%), Metro Manila (51%), and Mindanao (37%).

Duterte has consistently come under fire for his crass language and penchant for publicly insulting and threatening critics, be they human rights advocates, world leaders, or even God. (READ: The Duterte Insult List)

To such criticism, Duterte insists he is "no statesman"  and that such language and behavior is part of his "style." – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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