Duterte’s satisfaction rating up even as most Pinoys oppose martial law extension

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Samar Rep. Raul Daza gives the thumbs down sign, as one of the 23 members of the House who voted 'no' to Mindanao's martial law extension. Four senator also cast negative votes. BERNARD TESTA, INTERAKSYON

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s net satisfaction rating increased as the year came to a close despite most Filipinos’ opposition to the yearlong extension of martial law in Mindanao, the results of the Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey showed.

The survey showed Duterte earning a net satisfaction rating of +58 (71 percent satisfied minus 13 dissatisfied), classified by the Social Weather Stations as “very good,” while 15 percent of respondents were undecided. (https://www.sws.org.ph/swsmain/artcldisppage/?artcsyscode=ART-20171222105042)

Duterte’s net satisfaction rating in the SWS’ third quarter survey was +48.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted December 8 to 6, 2017 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

At the same time, 62 percent of the respondents agreed there was no need to extend martial law in Mindanao with fighting in Marawi over, while 26 percent disagreed with the premise and 12 percent were undecided.

The respondents were asked: “Gaano po kayo sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon sa pangungusap na ito: ‘Dahil tapos na ang giyera sa Marawi City, hindi na kailangan palawigin pa ang Martial Law nang lagpas ng takda nitong pagtatapos sa December 31, 2017′.”

(How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘Because the war in Marawi City is over, there is no need to extend Martial Law beyond its end date on December 31, 2017.’)

Opposition to martial law’s extension was highest in Metro Manila at 67%, followed by Balance Luzon at 63%, Mindanao at 62%, and Visayas at 55%.

The survey also showed that 66 percent agreed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines can suppress the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf even without martial law, 16 percent were undecided, and 18 percent disagreed.

Duterte had originally declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, when fighting broke out between government forces and extremist gunmen who infiltrated Marawi. Congress extended this to the end of the year when the original 60-day period fixed by the Constitution lapsed with fighting still raging.

Although Marawi was declared liberated in late October, the military and police recommended that martial law be extended for the whole of 2018 to address not only the continuing threat from extremists who survived Marawi but other threat group in the south, including communist rebels.

The overwhelmingly pro-administration Congress quickly approved of the request.