Duterte approval rating rises to 91% amid COVID-19 pandemic


NINE of 10 Filipinos approved of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s performance amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll by Pulse Asia Research, Inc.

The tough-talking Philippine leader got a 91% approval rating in the polling firm’s September poll, four points higher than in December.

Mr. Duterte enjoyed majority approval ratings across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes — 88% to 97% and 88% to 95% respectively.

Nine of 10 Filipino also trusted him, eight points higher than in December, Pulse Asia said in an e-mailed report.

“We thank the people because of the latest Pulse Asia survey,” presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque said in an e-mailed statement in Filipino.

Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo got a 57% approval rating, a point lower than in December. Her trust rating also fell by three points to 50, according to the poll.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III’s approval rating was unchanged at 84%, while the score of Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano, who is facing a controversy over a term-sharing deal, fell by 10 points to 70%.

Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta got 44%, the only top official who did not get a majority approval score, Pulse Asia said.

“Most Filipinos are appreciative of the work done by four of the country’s leading government officials,” it said. “Public assessment of these officials’ performance is essentially unchanged between December 2019 and September 2020,” it added.

“It’s nice to know that our people acknowledge my effort as the leader of the Senate,” Mr. Sotto said in a Viber group message. “I will continue to remain consistent and commit to work hard even during these uncertain times.”

Mr. Sotto’s trust rating rose by a point to 79%, while Mr. Cayetano’s score fell by nine points to 67%. Mr. Peralta had a trust score of 39%.

The approval rating of the Senate as an institution rose by five points to 71%, while the House of Representatives score fell by a point to 65%. The Supreme Court’s approval rating fell by two points to 61%.

Political analysts earlier said Mr. Duterte’s political capital rests on the success of planned trials involving a Russian coronavirus vaccine.

Mr. Duterte, who volunteered to get a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, is under pressure to contain a coronavirus pandemic that has sickened more than 300,000 and killed almost 6,000 Filipinos.

The President, down to his last two years in office and barred by law from seeking reelection, is also hard-pressed to keep his political capital and ensure the victory of his chosen candidate in the 2022 presidential elections. At least three presidents before him had either been sued or jailed for corruption. — NPA, GMC and CAT

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