MANILA - Former President Fidel Ramos on Thursday referred to the “sharp” decline in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ratings after he was asked to comment on the chief executive’s latest tirades against the European Union and the United Nations.
In a chance interview with reporters, Ramos noted that the “declines in Presidential trust and credibility are sharper than before."
Ramos was referring to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which showed that Duterte's net satisfaction rating had dropped to a "good" +48 from a "very good" +66 in the previous quarter.
SWS President Mahar Mangahas said Duterte's satisfaction ratings seemed to have dropped "faster than average" when compared to the ratings of his predecessors.
Ramos, who considers Duterte his protégé, only made reference to the ratings decline when asked to react on Duterte’s statements asking ambassadors of EU member-states to leave the Philippines in 24 hours.
Duterte made the remarks in response to comments made by a 7-member delegation of international parliamentarians, among them Europeans, against his war on drugs.
The President also dared the UN to expel the Philippines from the world body, following comments from international human rights group Human Rights Watch that the country may be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council if killings under the drug war continue.
"The ambassadors of those countries listening now. Tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours. All, all of you," Duterte said.
"We will not allow anybody, not even the United States, to dictate on us. And I will tell it straight during the November... in the ASEAN," said Duterte, in reference to the ASEAN summit where world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are set to arrive.
Ramos, one of the country’s political elders who pushed Duterte to run for President in 2016, has been acting as the chief executive’s fiscalizer, calling out the firebrand leader over certain decisions and policies.
Despite this, the President, known to be sensitive to criticism, has not shown any hostility towards the former Philippine leader.
During a panel discussion at the ASEAN Leaders Forum, Ramos said he is honored to be the President’s fiscalizer.
“You are my number one supporter, and now I have a feeling you are going to be my number one critic,” Ramos recalled Duterte as saying.
“He said: ‘I authorize you to continue fiscalizing me.’ That’s quite an honor,” Ramos said, still quoting Duterte.