MANILA—Malacañang on Friday said a majority of Filipinos are ignoring criticisms against President Rodrigo Duterte, judging from his continued popularity among the public.
Duterte capped 2018 with higher approval and trust ratings, a recent Pulse Asia survey showed.
Duterte received an 81 percent approval rating in a survey conducted between December 14 and 21, up 6 percentage points from his rating in September 2018. The President's trust rating in the last month of 2018 was at 76 percent, 4 percentage points higher than his score in the third quarter.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the survey was conducted as critics were “taking turns in lambasting the President’s hyperbolic style of delivering his narratives on certain issues and groups.”
“The survey results underscore that our people fully believe in the methods undertaken by the President in running the bureaucracy and the country, including formulating judgments during particular situations and events where Filipino people’s lives and the country's economy are at stake,” Panelo said in a statement.
“It appears that the tirades against PRRD have been ignored by a huge majority of Filipinos. The Pulse Asia survey is therefore another repudiation of the critics and detractors of PRRD who don’t see or refuse to see the good in whatever the Chief Executive does and says.”
Duterte, the country's first Mindanaoan president, received almost perfect scores in Mindanao, while his lowest trust and approval ratings came from the National Capital Region.
Speaking to ANC on Friday, political analyst Ranjit Rye said the improvement in Duterte's approval and trust rating may be attributed to his programs that have started to "kick in."
"People are now reckoning what the President has promised and what has he actually achieved," he said.
"To sustain this high popularity and trust ratings would require implementation of programs and better roll out of services which the President has continued to promise," he added.
Rye noted that Duterte's high approval and trust ratings are "surprising" given that the President is going in to his third year.
"This is quite startling for those in the opposition who are hoping that his approval and trust rating would take a nosedive by the end of the year (2018)," he said.
"Apparently, a lot of Filipinos still like [him].”