MANILA – Most Filipinos trust the United States while a bigger number have shown distrust towards Washington’s rivals, China and Russia, a Pulse Asia survey claimed.
The survey, conducted on December 6 to 11, showed that 76 percent of Filipinos trust the US while 70 percent trust Japan.
Russia and China, on the other hand, are trusted by 38 percent of Filipinos. Great Britain received a 39 percent trust rating.
The US and Japan got a distrust rating of 23 and 29, respectively.
Among the countries included in the survey, China got the highest distrust rating at 61 percent, followed by Russia and Great Britain at 58 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
The US and Japan are the foremost allies of the Philippines. The two powerful countries, once rivals during the World War Two, are now major allies.
The result of the survey is in contradiction with the attitude of the president towards the US, China and Russia.
Since assuming the presidency, President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed out at the US for its criticisms to his war on drugs which has claimed thousands of lives. He was also angered by Washington’s supposed moves to cut aid to Manila and a US senator’s threat to block arms sale to the Philippines.
In lambasting the US, Duterte sought to improve ties with China, the Philippines’ main South China Sea rival. He also expressed admiration for Russia, another US rival, and its leader Vladimir Putin.
Uncertainties hound the relationship of the Philippines and the US as Washington is set to get its new leader in the person of Donald Trump, an equally volatile and controversial personality.
Prospects of an improved relationship between Manila and Washington, however, are high as Duterte and Trump have expressed warmth towards each other.
The tough-talking Filipino leader has also claimed that unlike outgoing US President Barack Obama, Trump has expressed support for his war on drugs. Trump’s team has yet to confirm this.
As Duterte tries to reconfigure Manila’s diplomatic relations, he has chosen to set aside Philippines’ legal victory against China over the South China Sea.
In July, a Hague-based arbitral tribunal invalidated China’s massive claims to the sea, in a serious blow to its maritime ambitions.
Duterte said he will bring up China’s defeat at a proper time. He said he will focus on the other aspects of Philippines-China relations.
In the same Pulse Asia survey, 74 percent of Filipinos were also found to be trusting of the United Nations, another international body who earned Duterte’s ire for criticizing his war on drugs.
Twenty-five percent distrust the UN while only 1 percent of the respondents were ambivalent.
Meanwhile, the European Union received a trust rating of 50 percent.