MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte’s “excellent” trust ratings in a recent survey can be attributed to his pro-poor image that makes him appealing to the Filipino public, an analyst said Monday.
Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law said Duterte’s recent pronouncements such as allowing urban poor group Kadamay have the houses they occupied make him “very appealing” to marginalized Filipinos.
“He comes across very strongly as ‘makamasa’ and it’s not only giving an impression, he packs that with good action,” Aquino told ANC, noting Duterte’s tirades against so-called ‘oligarchs.’
Duterte maintained his “excellent” trust rating from Filipinos for four consecutive quarters, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
READ: SWS: Duterte maintains ‘excellent’ trust rating in Q1
Some 80 percent of Filipinos gave Duterte a rating of “much trust,” while 11 percent were “undecided” and 10 percent responded with “little trust,” according to the survey, which was published by SWS Saturday.
This came after Duterte secured a trust rating of 76 percent in a Pulse Asia Inc. survey in March.
Although his trust rating fell by 6 percentage points in Balance Luzon and Visayas, it increased by 9 percentage points in Metro Manila and 4 percentage points in Mindanao.
Aquino explained that the increase in percentage points in Duterte’s trust ratings in Metro Manila was due to the number of poor Filipinos living in the country’s capital who were affected by the President’s words.
“And even if you see Manila as an urban center, don’t forget that so many people in Manila are actually well informal settlers, many people are jobless, many people are job seekers,” he said.
He also noted the prevalence of online trolls and the tendency of Filipinos to slam critics of the President as a factor in the survey results.
“The other reason is that the level of discourse in this country has sunk considerably. We are now reduced to trolling, name-calling. Any person who opposes, anyone who is critical is labeled as ‘dilawan,’ so there is no critical discourse ongoing anymore and that’s regrettable,” he said.
Aquino however maintained that it was too early to say whether Duterte’s trust approval ratings would remain positive for the whole year, saying some surveys already showed a decline in approval.
“It’s too early to say that this is going to be it for the whole of his term,” he said.