Philippines’ Duterte sees lowest rating since becoming president

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, gestures to show respect to Filipino Archbishop Romulo Valles, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, during their meeting at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila on Monday, July 9. (Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP)
Updated 10 July 2018
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Philippines’ Duterte sees lowest rating since becoming president

MANILA: Satisfaction in Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte fell to the lowest of his presidency since coming into office in 2016, an independent survey showed on Tuesday.
Net satisfaction, used by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) as a rating of the president’s performance, was down 11 points from the first quarter to 45 in the survey of 1,200 Filipinos conducted in the last week of June.
It was the president’s lowest rating in eight surveys taken since 2016. In the first quarter of this year, Duterte’s rating slipped to 56 percent from 58 percent in December 2017.
The president was unfazed by the drop in his ratings.
“I don’t care, it does not interest me at all,” Duterte told a news conference north of Manila.
The survey was taken during the week when Duterte attacked the Catholic Church and called God “stupid” after bishops and priests criticized the killing of drug suspects in the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.
“It was an unnecessary remark, it really affected his ratings,” said analyst Earl Parreno of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reforms.
“The rising prices and unemployment also had an impact, but this is only temporary. He has to repair his relations with the bishops and rebuild his image,” Parreno said.
Duterte met with the head of the Catholic Bishops group on Monday, promising to refrain from attacking the Church.
The SWS survey did not ask respondents to explain their rating for Duterte, who took office in June 2016. Duterte had enjoyed high satisfaction ratings since coming to office, peaking at 66 in June 2017.
Based on the SWS methodology for satisfaction ratings, a score of 70 and above is considered excellent, 50 to 69 is very good, 30-49 good and 10-29 moderate.


South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

Updated 20 July 2018
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South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison

SEOUL, South Korea: A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former South Korean President Park Geun-hye to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and violating election laws.
She now faces the prospect of more than three decades behind bars. She’s already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption scandal that led to her removal from office last year.
Seoul Central District Court on Friday found her guilty of causing substantial losses to state coffers by unlawfully receiving about 3 billion won ($2.6 million) from chiefs of the National Intelligence Service during her presidency and sentenced her to six years in prison.
However, she was found not guilty of bribery charges related to the money transfers. The court said it was unclear whether the spy chiefs sought or received favors in return.
The court separately sentenced Park to two years in prison for breaking election laws by meddling in her party candidate’s nomination ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2016.
She didn’t appear in court.
While Park’s prison term currently adds up to 32 years, this could change, and potentially get even longer, depending on rulings of appeals courts. Following the earlier ruling in April, prosecutors appealed Park’s 24-year term on charges including bribery and abuse of state power and are now demanding 30 years in prison. The Seoul High Court will rule on the case on Aug. 24.
Following protests by millions, South Korean lawmakers impeached Park on December 2016. She was formally removed from office following a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court in March last year and was arrested weeks later.