MANILA - A political analyst believes now is the time for President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo to stop the "rhetoric discord and dissonance" and start "critical collaboration."
UP Political Science Professor Ranjit Rye said changing the current narrative of politics would help maintain or even improve the good trust and approval ratings of the two officials who are both facing impeachment raps.
While Duterte and Robredo have traded barbs in certain issues, particularly on the administration's war on drugs, Rye believes the two officials' programs for the poor could serve as their common point of collaboration.
"We have to move away from gangster politics, the rhetoric of discord and dissonance and move into some sort of critical collaboration," he told ANC on Wednesday, noting a planned dinner between Duterte and Robredo has yet to happen.
A Pulse Asia survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents between March 15 and 20, showed Duterte got an approval rating of 78 percent, down 5 points from his 83 percent in December.
Robredo, meanwhile, was the second most trusted official with a rating of 56 percent, down 2 points from her previous 58 percent.
Rye said dips in both trust and approval ratings are normal for the two highest officials in the country. But compared to the previous administration, Duterte and Robredo's numbers are still "very good."
He said the most important thing FOR both Duterte and Robredo is to roll out social services for the poor and to focus on performing their sworn duties.
"They need to stop being politicians and start becoming statesmen," said Rye, noting that the two officials still have a very strong base of supporters despite the controversies they are facing.