Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte secures 67 percent approval rating

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  July 7, 2017 at 11:59 AM
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July 7 (UPI) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is enjoying record-high approval ratings, and some of the country's most impoverished citizens view his policies favorably, according to a local poll.

The country's Social Weather Stations survey showed this week Duterte, who has been accused of crimes against humanity during his term as mayor of Davao, has attained an approval rating of 67 percent, or "very good," according to local news service Rappler.

The research nonprofit conducted the survey in June, a month after the Philippine leader declared martial law in response to the conflict in Marawi, Mindanao state.

The declaration of martial law in Mindanao may have prompted a sudden decline in Duterte's approval ratings in the region, but the president gained approval in other parts of the country.

Duterte's strong emphasis on law enforcement and crackdown on the drug trade has resonated with some of the country's poorest.

His ratings saw the largest rise among those earning the least income, but respondents who identified themselves as middle and upper class are also satisfied, registering an increase of 3 percentage points from March, when the survey may have been previously conducted.

Duterte's spokesman Ernesto Abella said the "finding shows tacit public support for the President's action following the rebellion in Marawi."

The president had made symbolic visits to troops in Mindanao battling militants in Mindanao and spoke to displaced residents, according to the report.

Duterte came under scrutiny in April, when Philippine lawyer Jude Sabio filed a complaint before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, charging Duterte and his partners of crimes against humanity.

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