CRITICS of President Rodrigo Duterte may try another tack in messaging if they are to fight this persistent wave of public support for the President.
Nothing could be more hurting for the opposition than the Social Weather Station’s (SWS) survey between March 28 and 31, finding 79 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied with Duterte’s performance, while only 13 percent were dissatisfied.
The poll showed a net satisfaction score of “very good” +66, eight points higher than December 2018’s “very good” +60.
The rating ties with Duterte’s personal high in June 2017, the SWS noted.
Lifting the Chief Executive’s rating is the 15-point increase in Mindanao (“excellent” +88), seven points in the Visayas (“very good” +69), four points in Balance Luzon, (“very good” +56), and three points in Metro Manila (“very good” +61).
In Classes ABC, he retained a “very good” net satisfaction (+69 from +62). He likewise earned percentage points in the D and E classes.
The President stayed at “very good” in rural and urban areas, and earned rate increases in all age groups.
“Crystal clear,” says Presidential Spokesperon Salvador Panelo, is the message that “the more the critics and detractors malign (Duterte), the higher the rating gets.”
“These political adversaries are being swallowed by their own hubris. Survey after survey they are being repudiated. They appear to be ensconced if not entangled in their own web of lies that they cannot unshackle themselves from it,” he adds.
The satisfaction score, says Panelo, will motivate the President to make the country a “state of peace and progress.”
He said that the President is “racing against time to fulfill his campaign promise of slaying the dragon of illegal drugs, criminality, corruption and rebellion, as well as providing the people with a comfortable life under a reign of peace during his term.”
While Panelo revels in this win tale, the 13 percent dissatisfied lot may be seeing a totally contrasting narrative: extrajudicial killings, China and the West Philippine Sea, failed peace talks, price hikes, persistent corruption, return of the Marcoses, among others.
But the latest survey will certainly embolden the administration to push its policy any which way it wants, and that will be something to expect in the coming months, years. That while there goes a systematic erosion of whatever gets in the way of the Duterte juggernaut—along with it, it seems, the remaining mechanisms for check and balance.