Duterte's trust, approval ratings hit record low – Pulse Asia

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President Rodrigo Duterte remains the most trusted top government official, while majority of the survey's respondents expressed distrust for House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — President Rodrigo Duterte's trust and performance ratings have fallen to a record low, according to an independent poll.

A Pulse Asia survey conducted September 1-7 and released Tuesday showed Duterte's 72 percent trust score and 75 percent performance rating were the lowest in his two-year tenure. 

Seven in 10 or 75 percent of the 1,800 respondents in the September poll approved of the President's performance. Ten percent said otherwise, while 15 percent were undecided.

Although Duterte got the majority approval, his score is 13 percentage points lower than his 88 percent performance rating in June.

It is also three points lower than the 78 percent he got in March 2017, when an impeachment complaint was filed against him. The House Committee on Justice junked the complaint.

Meanwhile, an even bigger drop was recorded in the President's trust rating. He got only 72 percent this September, 15 points lower than his 87 percent score in June. Nine percent said they have little or no trust for Duterte, while 19 percent were undecided.

This is again the lowest trust rating Duterte has gotten so far, followed by his 76 percent trust score in March 2017.

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The poll has a ± 2% error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

The face-to-face interviews were conducted as the Duterte's voidance of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty made headlines. Critics said it was part of the administration's crackdown on those who opposed the President's pronouncements and policies. Duterte stood by his Proclamation 572, but deferred to the judiciary for an arrest warrant on Trillanes.

The survey period also saw a spike in prices as inflation hit a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in August.

Malacañang 'not affected'

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque suspects higher rice prices contributed to the public's bad perception of the administration.

"Kasi parang yung single issue ng bigas, nakalimutan na ng tao yung iba pang achievements ng administrayon dahil malapit nga ito sa sikmura," Roque said in a Malacañang press briefing, blaming Jason Aquino, former head of the National Food Authority for the rice problem.

[Translation: "It seems like the single issue on rice made the people forget the other achievements of the administration because it causes hunger."]

He, however, said he has not seen the survey and refused to attribute the slump in Duterte's ratings on inflation.

Roque also said there's nothing wrong with the President's action on Trillanes' amnesty. "The President rules because it is his constitutional duty."

Roque downplayed the survey results and said the President will continue to do his job.

"We take note of the survey results but we are not affected by it because ang Presidente naman will do his best to discharge his duties as President and commander in chief," he said.

Duterte most trusted, Arroyo least trusted

Despite a huge slump in his ratings, Duterte is still the most approved and trusted among the country's top government officials.

"I believe that's still a very good approval rating," Roque said.

Senate President Tito Sotto closely followed Duterte with a performance rating of 73 percent, Vice President Leni Robredo at 61 percent while former Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio only got 42 percent. Teresita Leonardo de Castro became Chief Justice in late August.

Meanwhile, 66 percent of respondents expressed trust for Sotto, 56 percent for Robredo and 33 percent for Carpio.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo lagged far behind with a trust score of 19 percent. Forty-three percent of the respondents expressed distrust for Arroyo, while 19 percent were undecided.

The former President unseated partymate and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez after more than 200 lawmakers voted for a change in leadership on July 23, the same day Duterte delivered his State of the Nation Address.

CNN Philippines' Ella Hermonio contributed to this report.