DESPITE mounting international criticism, majority of Filipinos are satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Of 1,200 respondents polled between September 24 and 27, 84 percent were satisfied with the administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs. Only 8 percent said they were dissatisfied, while the rest were undecided.
This resulted in an “excellent” net score (satisfied minus dissatisfied) of +76.
SWS considers a rating of at least +70 as “excellent”; +50 to +69 as “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”; +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad” and -70 and below as “execrable.”
However, the survey also found that 71 percent of the respondents thought it was “very important” for drug suspects to be caught alive. Twenty-three percent said it was “somewhat important,” 5 percent said it was “somewhat not important,” and 2 percent said it was “not important at all.”
The SWS said 83 percent of respondents also thought the campaign against illegal drugs did not discriminate based on social class. Thirteen percent said it was focused on the poor, while 4 percent said it was targeting the rich.
Official Philippine National Police data showed that at least 1,523 suspects were killed in anti-drug police operations from July 1 to October 7, but unofficial media counts that include killings by vigilantes and drug gangs put the death toll past 3,000.
More than 26,000 individuals have been arrested, while 52,967 drug pushers and 681,264 drug users turned themselves in during in the same period.
Sought for comment, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “The survey tells us that a majority of the people trust the actions of the President, that they value human life, and perceive fairness in the carrying out of police duties.”
The survey, first published in BusinessWorld, had a margin of error of ±3 points.
The Third Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey also showed Duterte bagging a “very good” satisfaction rating, gaining the approval of 76 percent of respondents.