MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has credited the big jump in President Rodrigo Duterte's trust ratings to the "defeat" of terrorists in Marawi City.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Friday, January 12, that the government's success in ending the 5-month siege of the Mindanao city was likely among the factors that helped the President regain an "excellent" trust rating in the Social Weather Stations survey held in December 2017.
"I think the fact that he has shown that he can exercise political will to defeat terrorists and violent extremists in Marawi, the fact that people's optimism is at an all time high, the fact that manufacturing output is at an all time high – so all this indicate that the economy is growing as promised," Roque said in a press conference in Valencia City, Bukidnon.
He said the liberation of Marawi showed Duterte's commitment to protect the country from security threats.
Roque surmised that the higher trust rating might also be due to the government "winning" the war against illegal drugs.
"He has promoted the rule of law against the threat of terrorism and of course his winning the war against drugs," the Palace official said.
To help government forces win against terrorists in Marawi and to address other security threats in Mindanao, Duterte declared martial law over the region and asked Congress, twice, to extend it. In both instances, his request was granted, putting martial law in place until end of 2018.
Duterte's "excellent" +75 net trust rating in the December 2017 SWS survey is 15 points higher than in September, when he scored a "very good" +60 net trust rating.
During the survey period and between the September and December SWS surveys, the dominant news were on the war in Marawi and its from terrorist influence on October 17.
Events during and before the September survey period that might have influenced respondents' trust in him at the time were the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, marked by mass protests against alleged abuses in the drug war.
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 email@example.com.