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95% of Filipinos say drug suspects should be ‘captured alive’

MANILA, Philippines – A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Tuesday, October 24, showed that 95% of Filipinos believe it is important for drug suspects to be “captured alive.”

Based on the results of the Third Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey conducted from September 23 to 27 among 1,500 respondents nationwide, 76% of Filipinos said it is “very important” and 19% “somewhat important” for drug suspects to be captured alive, for a total of 95% – the highest since the survey was done in September 2016.

The remaining 5% believed otherwise (3% somewhat not important, 2% not at all important).

The respondents were asked: “Gaano ka-importante para sa inyo na mahuli ng mga pulis nang buhay ang mga taong pinaghihinalaang kasabwat sa illegal na droga? Ito po ba ay… (Talagang importante sa inyo; Medyo importante sa inyo; Medyo hindi importante sa inyo; Talagang hindi importante sa inyo)?”

(How important is it to you that the police capture alive the suspects allegedly involved in illegal drugs? Is it [Very important to you; Somewhat important to you; Somewhat not important to you; Not at all important to you)?])

The number of Filipinos who believe in the importance of capturing drug suspects alive increased in September by 5 percentage points compared to June, when it was at 90% (68% very important, 22% somewhat important).

There is also a significant drop in the net figures – those who believe it's important to capture drug suspects alive minus those who believe otherwise – from June to September, or from +79 to +90. 

Public opinion on the importance of keeping captured drug suspects alive is statistically the same in all geographical areas: Metro Manila and Balance Luzon, both at 96%; and  Visayas and Mindanao, both at 94%.

The survey has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Data from Social Weather Stations

When respondents were asked about the level of importance they believe the police give to capturing drug suspects alive, 77% said it was important (51% very important, 25% somewhat important), while 23% said it was not (14% somewhat not important, 9% not at all important).

Public sentiment that police consider it important to capture drug suspects alive was strongest in Mindanao at 86%, followed by Visayas at 83%, Metro Manila at 77%, and Balance Luzon at 69%.

The SWS also released data on surveys that SWS Deputy Director Vladymir Licudine presented to the media on October 11.

The data showed that a majority of Filipinos remained generally satisfied with the Duterte administration's war on drugs despite some apprehensions about the campaign, though there is a dip in public satisfaction compared to a year ago.  (READ: Why are Filipinos supporting Duterte's drug war?)

The data showed 77% of Filipinos satisfied, 14% unsatisfied, and 9% undecided on the administration's war on drugs, for a net satisfaction rating of +63. This is a 2-point drop from June, but well within the 2.5-point margin of error. 

Over the last year, or from September 2016 to September 2017, the net satisfaction rating of the drug war decreased by 13 points. In September 2016, the net rating was at +76, as 84% of Filipinos were satisfied, and 8% each dissatisfied and undecided, with the war on drugs.

Data from Social Weather Stations

Net satisfaction with President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration was “lower among those who say the police consider it not important to capture drug suspects alive," the SWS said.

"It was one grade lower among those who believe that the police consider it somewhat not important to capture drug suspects alive, at a good +42, and two grades lower among those who believe the police consider it not at all important, at a mere moderate +14," it added.

The President’s net satisfaction rating was “at very good levels among those who believe that the police consider it very important (+54) and somewhat important (+50) to capture drug suspects alive,” SWS said.

In the same vein, the net satisfaction rating of the Duterte administration was at "very good levels" among those who believe that the police consider it very important (+64) and somewhat important (+63) to catch drug suspects alive, the pollster said.

The administration's net satisfaction rating fell one grade lower among those who believe that the police consider it somewhat not important (+45) and not at all important (+30) to capture drug suspects alive.

The SWS survey on Duterte's performance and trust ratings held in the same period showed a big drop in the President's numbers, +48 net satisfaction rating from +66, and +60 net trust rating from +75 in June, attributed to public sentiment on the kilings in his drug war.

Among the major developments between the June and September survey periods were the killings of teenagers Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz during police operations. (READ: Most Filipinos afraid they'd end up like Kian delos Santos – Pulse Asia) – Rappler.com