World

New poll shows Duterte still popular

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte retained a high public approval rating in an opinion poll released yesterday, a stark contrast to a different survey earlier this week that showed a sharp decline in trust and satisfaction in the maverick leader.

Of 1,200 Filipinos surveyed by pollster Pulse Asia late last month, 80 per cent said they trust and approve of Mr Duterte, slightly down from 81 per cent and 82 per cent respectively in its June survey.

"Approval" rates his performance and "trust" relates to his personality in the Pulse survey, which did not ask respondents to give a reason.

A poll by Social Weather Stations conducted at the same time and released last Sunday showed that trust and satisfaction in Mr Duterte - also ratings of personality and performance - fell to the lowest of his presidency.

That poll showed he remained popular, but the falls by 15 points and 18 points respectively were significant and came after a demonstration by thousands of Filipinos and unprecedented public scrutiny on his war on drugs triggered by the Aug 16 killing of a teenager by police.

Since Mr Duterte took office 15 months ago, more than 3,900 people have been killed in anti-narcotics operations.

Police said the victims were armed and put up violent resistance in each of those cases and reject rights groups' allegations they are executing suspected drug users and dealers.

Mr Duterte this week ordered police to stand down from the campaign, and his office said it is to shift focus towards bigger targets in operations by the drugs enforcement agency.

Analysts were unable to explain why there was such a big difference in the results of the surveys by two well-respected pollsters.- REUTERS

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