8 in 10 Filipinos trust, approve of Duterte despite controversies - Pulse Asia

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) President Rodrigo Duterte maintains high approval and trust ratings during his first five months in office amid issues and controversies hounding his administration, a private pollster said Friday.

A recent non-commissioned Pulse Asia survey shows 83 percent, or eight in 10 Filipinos approved of Duterte's performance, against only 5 percent who said otherwise.

The same percentage expressed "big trust" on the President, while a meager 4 percent said they have "small trust" or no trust at all for Duterte.

Some 13 percent were undecided for both survey items.

"Amidst various controversies involving him and his administration, most Filipinos remain appreciative of the work done by President Rodrigo R. Duterte," Pulse Asia Research, Inc. said in its December 2016 Ulat ng Bayan national survey.

Pulse Asia interviewed 1,200 adults nationwide for the survey, which was conducted December 6 to 11, some five months after Duterte assumed presidency on June 30.

The results of the survey were released on Friday, with a margin of error of ±3 percent. With the margin of error, Duterte's latest approval and trust ratings were almost the same as the 86 percent ratings he obtained in the September survey.

Among major issues that hounded the Duterte administration before and during the December survey were Vice President Leni Robredo's resignation from the Cabinet as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, after Duterte instructed her to "desist from attending all Cabinet meetings."

Duterte later accused Robredo of joining rallies against the administration, but Robredo denied the allegation.

Protests also erupted across the country against the surprise burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

In an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines late December, Duterte said he had "utang na loob" to the late dictator's daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and had promised her he would allow Marcos' burial at the LNMB.

Also in December, Duterte stood by the policemen involved in the November 5 killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa - despite murder findings of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Majority of Filipinos still trust Duterte despite the claim of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato that Duterte ordered the killing of criminals in Davao City when he was mayor.