MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's high approval rating despite criticism of his government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is an anomaly, a political analyst said Tuesday.
Speaking to ANC's "Matters of Fact," La Salle University political science professor Antonio Contreras described President's enduring popularity amid having the worst coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia as a phenomenon.
"We are now in the top 20 of the worst affected countries in the world. We are the number 1 in Southeast Asia... but you have 91 percent, so therefore, you have to ask yourself, this is somewhat an anomaly," he said.
Duterte has garnered majority approval from the public while other world leaders have seen their ratings drop over their handling of the pandemic, Contreras said.
"This is really a phenomenon. He's the most popular leader of the world right now," he added.
As to how Duterte was able to maintain his approval ratings, Contreras noted that Filipinos "tend to be charitable to leaders who are in crisis."
"At moments like this, you have to stick with the family. I think that's how many people see the President, as a fatherly symbol. They even call him Tatay Digong," he said.
Duterte also has a loyal political base "who will see him in positive light no matter what," Contreras stressed.
He also cautioned that the results of survey were only derived depending on the questions asked to respondents.
"If you're asking people whether they approve the performance of the president, then that's totally different from if they approve on specifics aspects of his job, in relation to the pandemic," he said.
Contreras also said there could be a possibility that choosing the respondents at random was "not perfect."
"Randomly selected sample can only reflect the sentiment of the entire population if every Filipino has equal chance of being drawn part of that 1,200," he said.