President Duterte’s net satisfaction rating has increased despite most Filipinos opposing the year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao.
The uptick in support was revealed by the results of the Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey completed earlier this month.
The survey showed the president earning a net satisfaction rating of +58 (71 per cent satisfied minus 13 dissatisfied), classified by the SWS as “very good,” while 15 per cent of respondents were undecided.
The result compares to a net satisfaction rating of +48 in SWS’s third quarter survey.
The survey involved face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults across the Philippines with sampling error margins of +/- three per cent for national percentages, and +/- six per cent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Despite strong support for the president, 62 per cent of the respondents believed there was no need to extend martial law in Mindanao, now that fighting in Marawi City is over. Meanwhile, 26 per cent disagreed with the premise and 12 per cent were undecided.
The respondents were asked: “How much do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘Because the war in Marawi City is over, there is no need to extend Martial Law beyond its end date on December 31, 2017’.”
Opposition to the exension of martial law was highest in Metro Manila at 67 per cent, followed by ‘Balance Luzon’ at 63 per cent, Mindanao at 62 per cent, and the Visayas at 55 per cent.
The survey also showed that 66 per cent agreed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines can suppress the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf even without martial law. Sixteen per cent were undecided, and 18 per cent disagreed.
The president first declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, when fighting broke out between government forces and Islamic State affiliated terrorists in Marawi.
Congress extended this to the end of the year when the initial 60-day period — fixed by the Constitution — lapsed while fighting was still raging.
Although Marawi was declared liberated in late October, the military and police recommended that martial law be extended for the whole of 2018. They said this was to address not only jihadis who survived Marawi but other threats, such as communist rebels.
The overwhelmingly pro-administration Congress resoundingly approved the request.