Despite the lethal criticism against it by opponents of President Rodrigo Duterte, nearly eight of 10 respondents, or 78 percent, expressed satisfaction on the progress of Mr. Duterte’s signature campaign against illegal drugs, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll showed.
The survey taken on the second quarter of the year also showed only 13 percent were dissatisfied with the anti-narcotics effort and nine percent undecided.
SWS gave a +65 satisfaction rating on the war on drugs based on the pollster’s netting method. The rating in June was one point above the very good +64 (75 percent satisfied, 12 percent dissatisfied) in March 2018.
Support to Mr. Duterte was higher among those satisfied with the war on drugs.
Satisfaction with the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs was at an excellent +76 when it was first surveyed in September 2016. It was highest in December 2017 at an excellent +77.
However, it has been at +63 to +66 (very good) range since March 2017, reaching its lowest rating of +63 in September 2017.
The second quarter poll, fielded on 27 to 30 June 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 respondents nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the survey results were “a testament that the drug war continues to enjoy the broad support of our people, notwithstanding the efforts of the detractors and critics of the administration to politicize the issue or discredit the campaign’s success.”
SWS said support to Mr. Duterte was higher among those satisfied with the war on drugs at a very good +59 (73 percent satisfied, 14 percent dissatisfied) compared to a moderate +19 (41 percent satisfied, 22 percent dissatisfied) among those undecided about the anti-illegal drug campaign and the poor -18 (33 percent satisfied, 50 percent dissatisfied) among respondents who indicated dissatisfaction.
The one-point increase in nationwide net satisfaction with the war on drugs resulted from a decrease in support in the Visayas that was offset by slight increases in support in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao.
Net satisfaction was lowest in the Visayas, falling by 12 points from a very good +69 (79 percent satisfied, nine percent dissatisfied) in March 2018 to +57 (74 percent satisfied, 16 percent dissatisfied) in June 2018. It had previously ranged from +63 to +69 for five quarters since March 2017.
Support was highest in Mindanao, increasing by three points from an excellent +81 (87 percent satisfied, 6 percent dissatisfied) in March to +84 (89 percent satisfied, 5 percent dissatisfied) in June.
SWS said the rating has been excellent in seven similar surveys in the past and very good in one.
It increased by two points in Metro Manila, from the very good +65 (78 percent satisfied, 13 percent dissatisfied) in March to +67 (79 percent satisfied, 12 percent dissatisfied) in June.
It was highest in December 2016 at an excellent +80 but has been in the +61 to +67 range since September 2017.
The rating has been excellent in seven similar surveys in the past and very good in one.
It also increased by five points in Balance Luzon, from the very good +53 (67 percent satisfied, 15 percent dissatisfied, correctly rounded) in March, to +58 (74 percent satisfied, 16 percent dissatisfied) in June. It was highest in December 2016 at an excellent +77. It has been at the +53 to +58 range since September 2017.
Reprieve for tambays
A separate SWS poll also released yesterday showed 60 percent saying the arrests of tambays or loiterers violate human rights.
The survey, which was conducted from 27 to 30 June, found 32 percent strongly agree and 28 percent somewhat agree when presented with the statement, “Police arresting idlers or tambays is a violation of their human rights.”
Net satisfaction was lowest in the Visayas, falling by 12 points.
The SWS said 26 percent disagreed with the statement while a remaining 14 percent were undecided for a net score of +34 which was classified as “strong” under the SWS netting system.
The survey also found that 68 percent of adults were worried – while 32 percent were not worried – that they themselves or anyone they know would be arrested for loitering.
The number of those worried was highest in Metro Manila at 78 percent followed by the Visayas at 73 percent, Luzon at 67 percent and Mindanao at 59 percent.
Some 58 percent of respondents believe the police do not discriminate when arresting loiterers. Another 40 percent, however, believe only the poor are targeted.
“On the arrest of tambays as a violation of human rights, the matter has already been clarified when the President had said that he did not order the arrest of tambays, for loitering, per se, is not a crime. Authorities then issued guidelines that they would not bring to the police station those without violations,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
As of 29 July, the Philippine National Police has apprehended in Metro Manila, 78,359 loiterers violating city ordinances and laws.