AROUND 88 percent of Filipinos have remained supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s stern campaign against illegal drugs, but 73 percent were convinced that extrajudicial killings (EJKs) exist, pollster Pulse Asia said in its latest survey.
The September 24 to 30 poll found that public awareness on Duterte’s brutal crackdown on narcotics trade is “virtually universal” at 100 percent, with 88 percent of them expressed support (41 percent “truly support,” 47 percent “support”) to the drug war.
Only two percent opposed the President’s approach in stamping out the drug proliferation, nine percent could not say if they support or do not support the war on illegal drugs, and less than one percent were ambivalent on the matter.
Ninety-four percent of respondents in Duterte’s bailiwick in Mindanao were supportive of his drug war. The Chief Executive likewise earned the support of 88 percent respondents in Luzon, 85 percent in Visayas, and 84 percent in Manila.
Support on the fight against narcotics were also high in Class D (89 percent), Class E (88 percent), and Class ABC (80 percent).
Despite the massive support, the poll showed that 73 percent believed there were EJKs in the course of Duterte’s implementation of bloody drug war. The poll result was six-percentage points higher than June’s 67 percent.
Only 20 percent were convinced that EJKs did not occur, while seven percent refused to answer the question.
Pulse Asia described EJK as “killings done by people in authority such as the police or soldiers that do not follow the rule of law.”
Public perception about the existence of summary executions of alleged drug suspects rose in Manila (79 percent from June’s 67 percent), Luzon (75 percent from 72 percent), and Mindanao (67 percent from 50 percent).
It was only in Visayas where there was a six-percentage points decline in the number of Filipinos who believed that EJKs are occurring in the conduct of anti-drug operations, from 74 percent in June to 68 percent in September.
Malacañang has repeatedly maintained that the thousands of suspected drug personalities slain in Duterte’s drug war were “not state-sanctioned.” It also assured the public that people behind the killings would be held liable, if it is proven that they commit irregularities.
The government’s deadly crackdown on illegal drugs, which has already claimed the lives of thousands of alleged drug offenders since Duterte assumed office on June 30, 2016, has sparked public outrage, especially after the deaths of minors during simultaneous drug raids.
The public has condemned the alarming drug-related deaths, including the killings of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz who were both gunned down by responding policemen after they allegedly resisted arrest in separate anti-drug operations.
According to Pulse Asia’s survey, 94 percent of Filipinos were aware about Delos Santos’ case, with 76 percent of them expressing concern (43 percent “very worried,” 34 percent” somewhat worried”) that they or someone they know may suffer the same fate as his because of the drug war.
Only 11 percent were not worried (six percent “somewhat not worried,” five percent “not worried at all”), while 11 percent were ambivalent on the matter.
The same survey showed that 77 percent knew about the anti-illegal drugs operations conducted in their villages by the police or local government authorities in the previous year.
Majority levels of awareness were recognized in Mindanao (88 percent), Manila (83 percent), Luzon (74 percent), and Visayas (65 percent).
Public awareness was also high in classes ABC and E at both 81 percent, and Class D at 75 percent.
Eighty-six percent of the respondents who were aware of simultaneous drug raids believed these operations were conducted in an “orderly” manner.
Assessment of orderly drug war was shared across Mindanao (91 percent), Luzon (90 percent), Visayas (83 percent), and Manila (71 percent). Around 86 percent each in Classes ABC, D, and E believed the same.
Only 11 percent thought drug operations were carried out in a “violent” manner, while three percent refused to answer the query.
Fifty-eight percent of Filipinos sought assistance of the Catholic Church in the rehabilitation of drug addicts, as part of the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, while 46 percent wanted the Church to just monitor the drug war.
Forty percent said the Church should release statements expressing concern over drug-related deaths, while 28 percent said it should assist in litigating alleged abusive law enforcers.
Thirteen percent believed the Church should not interfere in Duterte’s war on drugs, while 11 percent said it should embark on an international campaign to pressure the government to suspend the legitimate police anti-drug operations.
Around 1,200 adult Filipinos were interviewed by Pulse Asia using an error margin of ±3 percentage points at the 95 percent level.
Subnational estimates for each of Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have a ±6 percentage points error margin at 95 percent confidence level. (SunStar Philippines)