Duterte's trust, approval ratings dip slightly amid impeachment rap

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President Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) — Fewer Filipinos trust President Rodrigo Duterte and approve of his performance, a private pollster said Wednesday.

A recent non-commissioned survey by Pulse Asia shows the President's trust rating dropped by 7 percentage points from 83 percent in December 2016 to 76 percent in March 2017.

A meager 5 percent of the respondents said they have "small trust" or no trust at all for Duterte, while the remaining 18 percent were undecided.

The President's performance rating also declined by 5 points, from 83 percent last year to 78 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Some 7 percent expressed disapproval of Duterte's performance, while 15 percent were undecided.

Respondents in poorer income classes D and E gave Duterte lower performance ratings — down by 6 and 8 points, respectively. The trust ratings he received from those in class D fell by 7 points, and from those in class E by 11 points.

Pulse Asia said Duterte's ratings remain high with nearly eight in 10 Filipinos appreciating his work.

"Approval and trust continue to be the predominant sentiments toward President Rodrigo R. Duterte in March 2017," the pollster said.

Duterte also received a higher performance rating from those in income class ABC — up by 17 percentage points. His trust rating increased by 12 points from respondents in this income class.

Pulse Asia interviewed 1,200 adults nationwide for the survey, which was conducted March 15-20, more than eight months after Duterte assumed presidency.

The results of the survey were released on Wednesday, with a margin of error of ±3 percent.

One of the major issues that hounded the Duterte administration during the survey period was the first impeachment complaint filed against the President.

Also read: Duterte faces impeachment complaint over alleged killings, corruption

Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano wants the President ousted over killings in the drug war and over his alleged involvement in vigilante killings in Davao City when he was mayor.

The administration has repeatedly said there are no state-sanctioned killings, while Duterte has denied leading the alleged vigilante group Davao Death Squad.

Alejano later filed more grounds to oust the President over his alleged failure to defend the country's sovereign rights over Benham Rise, and maritime claims in Scarborough Shoal and other areas in the disputed South China Sea.

Read: PH, China exchange statements over ships spotted in Benham Rise

Duterte has said the government will continue to assert the country's rights in these areas in a diplomatic manner, because the Philippines cannot afford to declare war against China.

Read: Duterte: We can't stop Chinese structures in Panatag Shoal