MANILA - He is "not hungry for statistics.”
President Rodrigo Duterte has said he is unfazed by the drop in his net satisfaction and trust ratings, vowing to continue working on his campaign promises.
“Iyung ratings, maski mag-abot ako ng zero, wala iyan, may trabaho ako,” Duterte said in a recorded interview aired on state-run television Friday evening.
“Zero zero plus, ganon pa rin, mag-trabaho ako kasi pinangako ko. Hindi ako [maapektuhan na] sabihin mo na maging unpopular ako. Wala iyan, kalokohan iyan, 'di ka lalaki niyan,” he added.
What matters, Duterte said, is the number that won him the May 2016 presidential race.
“Tapos na 'yan. Iyung 16 million ko, iyon ang statistics ko,” he said, referring to the votes that swept him to power.
A September Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that Duterte’s net satisfaction rating fell to +48 (good) from last quarter's +66 (very good), while his net trust rating fell to +60 (very good) from +75 (excellent).
A separate survey by another major pollster, Pulse Asia, showed the President retaining “big majority” approval and trust ratings.
Malacañang officials downplayed the drop in the President’s ratings under the SWS survey, saying this is normal as people begin to expect the delivery of the President’s promises.
They said it shall guide the administration on its next moves.
Duterte’s critics, meanwhile, said the steep drop in the President’s SWS ratings should serve as a wake-up call for the firebrand leader.
They also attributed the drop to the government’s war on drugs, noting that Duterte's satisfaction rating among the masses had declined.
While his net satisfaction rating stayed at "very good" among Classes A, B, and C with +57, it fell one grade below, from "very good" to "good”, among the Class D and E with +49 and +35, respectively.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, welcomed the Pulse Asia survey results, saying the President retained the high ratings "despite the multi-faceted political noise."
The survey was conducted as the President faced allegations of hidden wealth, and claims that his son and son-in-law were involved in corrupt activities. They have denied the allegations.
The government has many times defended Duterte’s war on drugs, where an estimated 3,800 people have died in legitimate police operations, according to police estimates.
Duterte this week toned down government’s anti-drug campaign, tasking the 2,000-member Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to lead the campaign used to be handled by the 150,000-strong Philippine National Police.
This prompted the PNP to terminate Oplan Tokhang, its house-to-house "knock and plead" operations targeting drug suspects.
The President, however, warned of grave consequences of this decision.