MANILA - Public skepticism has grown over claims by police officers that suspects killed in the anti-narcotics crackdown resisted arrest, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Monday.
The September 23 to 27 poll of 1,500 adults showed 37 percent believe the police are not telling the truth, 45 percent were undecided and 17 said police were telling the truth.
Subtracting the percentage of who did not believe cops from those who did yields a -20 net opinion on police truthfulness, SWS said.
The pollster noted that in June, the net opinion was only -3, where 28 percent doubted the police and 25 percent believed them.
The net balance was -8 in March 2017 and -1 in December 2016, SWS added.
The latest survey also showed that net opinion on police truthfulness was lowest in Metro Manila at -34, followed by Balance Luzon at -31, Visayas at -15 and Mindanao at +3.
POLICE SKEPTICISM VS SATISFACTION WITH GOV'T
The same survey showed that satisfaction with President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration was lowest among those who doubt the police.
Public satisfaction with Duterte was a good +43 among those who believed the police were probably not telling the truth, while it was a moderate +15 among those who believed they
were definitely not telling the truth.
It was a very good +60 among those who believed the police were probably telling the truth, and a very good +57 among those who were undecided.
Similarly, net satisfaction with the administration was an excellent +78 both among those who believe the police were definitely telling the truth and those who say the police were probably.
Meanwhile, it was very good +65 among those were undecided, a very good +50 among those who believed they were probably not telling the truth, and a good +30 among those who believed they were definitely not telling the truth.
The non-commissioned SWS survey asked the following question:
"In the government’s campaign against illegal drug, the police are (Definitely telling the truth; Probably telling the truth; Undecided if telling the truth or not; Probably not telling the truth; Definitely not telling the truth) that the suspects they killed really resisted them?"
Police data shows 3,800 people have been killed in operations in which armed suspects allegedly resisted arrest. Activists dispute that, saying executions and cover-ups are commonplace, which police deny.
Earlier this month, Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to lead the narcotics war, putting police in the backseat as it faced allegations of abuse.
PDEA has said it was short in manpower and would still need to tap police reinforcements in their operations.
A separate Pulse Asia survey this month showed that majority of Filipinos support the drug war and believe that extrajudicial killings occur under the campaign.