Gatchalian shrugs off double-digit declines
MANILA - Filipinos have begun to "see the light," Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte saw his lowest satisfaction and trust ratings since coming to power 15 months ago.
"It's very encouraging to know that the Filipino people are beginning to see the light," Trillanes said in a statement.
"They are now seeing Duterte for who he really is: a lying, rude, amoral, corrupt and oppressive former mayor who is totally incompetent about governance at the national level."
Net public satisfaction with Duterte plunged 18 points to +48 from +66 in June while his net trust rating fell 15 points to +60 from +75, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The poll tallied the biggest satisfaction rating decline among poorest Class E, who are mostly the victims of his anti-narcotics crackdown.
The war on drugs has created a "climate of fear across the country," Trillanes alleged.
The opposition senator added that he expected the President's trust and satisfaction scores to dip further now that the Office of the Ombudsman has launched an investigation into his alleged hidden wealth.
Duterte and his aides have denied that the anti-drug drive is anti-poor. The President also said he is willing to "produce" his account to prove that his wealth does not exceed P40 million.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian meanwhile said the survey should not be a cause for concern.
"Historical data shows that presidents usually experience a dip in trust and approval ratings after their first year in office. It's just a part of the cycle of politics," he reasoned.
"What is clear in the survey results is that the Filipino people continue to trust the President and approve of his performance, despite the ratings dip."
The senator however urged the President to "view these survey results as a constructive challenge to do more" for the public.
"Corruption, poverty, and police impunity are three important issues in particular which deserve more attention from the executive branch," he added.
Duterte is "unperturbed" by his new ratings, his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo told ANC.
"There is only one underlying principle in which he will handle his presidency. That is the Constitution instructs him to serve and protect the people. He is doing that regardless if he is popular or not," Panelo said.
-- With Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News