Dilawan Representatives Criticized Duterte's High Public Satisfaction Rating

Two representatives from the opposition downplayed or disregarded the high ratings of President Duterte's first year in office to further say that such statistics and popularity ratings do not necessarily mean genuine change.

Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat said that "popularity ratings are not an indication of real change or genuine progress."

Baguilat said that the high ratings for Duterte is a result of his yet fresh time in the office.

"The first year is usually associated with the honeymoon stage. And by nature, Filipinos are patient. Thus, it's expected for the President to get high satisfaction ratings early in his administration," Baguilat stated.

"Many would like to give this administration a change and are willing to gloss over his unfulfilled promises and deadly rhetoric. And Filipinos have obviously embraced his drug war notwithstanding their dislike of the killings," Rep. Baguilat added.

However, with President Duterte's high ratings, Representative Baguilat suggested that the President can use his fame and political power to push through with the peace negotiations, a genuine agrarian reform agenda, and more economic reforms that would benefit the masses.

"It's a powerful tool and I hope it will not be used to move an authoritarian agenda," Baguilat stated.

Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin also agreed with what Rep. Baguilat said, further stating that Duterte's satisfaction ratings presents his "appeal to people's emotions and insecurities" to "fit into the grand narrative of a creeping authoritarian rule."

"It reflects the numbing effect of a culture of violence, hatred, and death that this administration has promoted but have been touted by its propaganda machinery as the true, good, and beautiful," Rep. Villarin added.

According to the Social Weather Station (SWS), the one who conducted the survey, President Duterte's public satisfaction rating increased during the second quarter of the year, despite his proclamation of the martial law all over Mindanao and the controversy that followed the proclamation.

Photo from Inquirer

Baguilat and Villarin are part of the so-called Magnificent 7, who are the independent minority bloc at the House of Representatives.

The SWS survey found out that 78 percent of the 1, 200 respondents of the survey were satisfied with Duterte's performance.

The SWS survey was conducted from June 23 to June 26, more than one month after the president declared martial law over Mindanao on May 23.

The survey also revealed that 12 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with the President's performance for his first year in office, while 10 percent was undecided.

However, Bayan Muna party-list representative, Carlos Isagani Zarate stated that such ratings presenting the public's satisfaction towards Duterte must not be interpreted as the public supporting the martial law in Mindanao.

He added that the ratings could mean the positive feedback of the people towards the improvements and progress during Duterte's first year.

"All of the positive public perception will dissipate if the administration continues its rightist turn, like the martial law declaration in Mindanao, or, worse, its extension and expansion," Zarate added.

Source: GMA News