President Rodrigo Duterte has so far been the most approved and trusted president among the last four chief executives of the country, according to Pulse Asia.
As of September 2017, Duterte got an 80 percent trust and approval rating, higher than any rating earned by former Presidents Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III.
Duterte has had an average performance approval rating of 81.8 percent between September 2016 and September 2017 and an average trust rating of 82.8 percent between July 2016 and September 2017.
The computations do not cover exactly the same months or duration because Pulse Asia’s surveys are conducted inconsistently over the years. For example, Arroyo’s first few ratings came each month, while that of Aquino had as much as a five-month gap between surveys.
Generally, however, Duterte’s ratings invariably topped that of his predecessors, despite well-publicized criticism from various local and international groups of his administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs, which has resulted in the killing of thousands of drug suspects.
Malacañang on Friday said it was pleased with the Pulse Asia survey results.
“The President accepts this public appreciation with all humility, but regardless of survey results, PRRD and the members of his Cabinet would continue to work and advance public interests and build, as he said in numerous occasions, a nation worthy of the Filipinos,” presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a statement.
Duterte’s approval rating is higher than Aquino’s average of 74.6 percent between October 2010 and November 2011.
Aquino’s predecessor, Arroyo, had an even lower first-year average approval rating of 56.2 percent. This figure was computed by averaging her ratings from March 2001 to April 2002.
Joseph Ejercito-Estrada, meanwhile, had an average approval rating of 58 percent between May 1999 and July 2000.
Aquino ended his term with a 45-percent approval rating, making for an average rating of 65.3 percent from October 2010 to July 2016.
Aquino boasted of a “stronger economy” after his first 100 days in the top seat of the government, but his presidency would also be marred with controversies, one of the most prominent of which was the "misencounter" that led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Forces commandos, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters, and five civilians in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in January 2015.
Just two days ago, Aquino was formally charged with graft and usurpation of official function by the Ombudsman over the Mamasapano debacle.
For her part, Arroyo ended her nine-year term with a dismal 16-percent approval rating, capping off what would be an average of 37.1-percent rating from when she assumed the presidency from the ousted Estrada in March 2001 to Aquino’s victory in July 2010.
The exit of Arroyo, who also trumpeted a stronger economy during her term, from the presidency was reportedly “littered with ‘landmines’,” or hundreds of “midnight appointments” that came after the pre-election appointments ban in 2010.
Estrada’s relatively brief rule ended on a below-majority 45-percent approval rating, making for an average of 55-percent rating between May 1999 to December 2000.
The former actor and now Manila mayor was impeached as President by Congress in November 2000 over alleged bribery, corruption, betrayal of public trust and violation of the Constitution.
Trust ratings, though a different matter, showed more or less the same trend.
Duterte’s 82.8-percent average trust rating between July 2016 and September 2017 is higher than Aquino’s 75 percent between October 2010 and November 2011.
Aquino’s average trust rating from the start to the end of his term was 63.9 percent.
It is even higher than Arroyo’s average trust rating of 47.6 percent between March 2001 and April 2002, and almost half as high as Estrada’s 42.2 percent between December 1999 and December 2000, which was also the last month he was rated.
Arroyo’s average trust rating from the beginning of her term in 2001 to its end in 2010 was 30.6 percent.
Malacañang on Friday welcomed Duterte's high ratings.
Duterte still enjoys the approval and trust of majority of Filipinos, as seen in the results of public opinion polls since the beginning of his presidency. — with Trisha Macas/KBK/RSJ, GMA News