MANILA, Philippines — Almost half of all Filipinos believe the killing of innocents is inevitable in the war on drugs and that government has fielded informants to their communities to secretly “observe and report” drug users and pushers, the results of the latest Social Weather Stations showed.
The poll is part of the non-commissioned war on drugs portion of SWS’ non-commissioned Third Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey.
The survey showed 46 percent of respondents agreed “it cannot be avoided that there are innocent citizens who will die in order to completely eradicate the illegal drug problem in the country,” while 35 percent disagreed and 19 percent were undecided, for a “moderately strong” +10 net agreement score.
Belief that innocent deaths are unavoidable was highest in the Visayas with a “moderately strong” +21 (50 percent agree, 30 percent disagree, correctly rounded), followed by Manila at moderately strong +18 (54 percent agree, 36 percent disagree), Balance Luzon at a neutral +9 (44 percent agree, 36 percent disagree, correctly rounded), and Mindanao at a neutral +1 (39 percent agree, 38 percent disagree).
Meanwhile, slightly more respondents, 49 percent (25 percent strongly agree, 24 percent somewhat agree), agreed that “in our area, the administration probably has people who secretly observe and report those who are users and those who are sellers of illegal drugs,” with 19 percent disagreeing (10 percent somewhat disagree, 10 percent strongly disagree, correctly rounded), and 31 percent undecided, giving a moderately strong +29.
This sentiment was was highest in Metro Manila “at an extremely strong” +50 (66 percent agree, 17 percent disagree, correctly rounded), followed by Balance Luzon at a moderately strong +29 (47 percent agree, 19 percent disagree, correctly rounded), Mindanao at a moderately strong +26 (47 percent agree, 21 percent disagree), and the Visayas at a moderately strong +21 (43 percent agree, 22 percent disagree).
[SWS terminology for Net Agreement: +50 and above, “Extremely Strong”; +30 to +49, “Very Strong”; +10 to +29, “Moderately Strong”, +9 to –9, “Neutral”; –10 to –29, “Moderately Weak”; –30 to –49, “Very Weak”; –50 and below, “Extremely Weak”.]
Like other surveys on the war on drugs in which most respondents expressed misgivings about many aspects of the war on drugs, net satisfaction with the anti-narcotics drive, President Rodrigo Duterte and the administration in general remained good, hardly varying between differing opinions, except among those who disagreed with the proposition government was fielding informants, who tended to have a lower net satisfaction with Duterte.
The SWS survey was conducted from September 23-27 through face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults nationwide and has sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, ±4 percent for Balance Luzon, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.