World

Duterte's ratings down, but still positive

MANILA: Trust and satisfaction in Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte fell to the lowest of his presidency in the third quarter of this year, a survey showed on Sunday, although sentiment about his leadership remained positive overall.

Net satisfaction, used by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) as a rating of the president's performance, was down 18 points from the second quarter to 48, classified as "good" in the survey of 1,200 Filipinos conducted in the last week of September.

Mr Duterte's net trust rating, which gauges public sentiment about his personality, was "very good" at 60 points, down from an "excellent" 75.

The survey was conducted a few days after thousands of Filipinos rallied to denounce Mr Duterte, his anti-drug crackdown and what they called an emerging dictatorship.

Thousands of Filipinos have been killed in the crackdown and other SWS polls conducted in September indicated doubts about the validity of official accounts of the 3,800 cases where police killed drug suspects.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella shrugged off the survey results, saying in jest that Filipinos still "love" Duterte.

Mr Abella said the change in the ratings "is expected given the fact that people start measuring their expectations usually after the honeymoon period, or after a year in office".

"It's not a question of disappointment or of not believing. It's a question of managing expectations," he said. "The love is still there."- REUTERS

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