Filipinos’ trust in Duterte falls to lowest level

Duterte did not mention the survey results on Saturday but a spokesman welcomed the support. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 September 2018
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Filipinos’ trust in Duterte falls to lowest level

  • Trust is used by independent pollster Social Weather Stations to gauge public opinion with a president’s personality
  • It was the popular leader’s lowest score in nine surveys taken since he took office in June 2016

MANILA: Public trust in Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte dropped to the lowest of his presidency, a survey showed on Saturday, although he still maintained a rating of “very good.”
Trust is used by independent pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) to gauge public opinion with a president’s personality.
It fell 8 points in the second quarter to +57 from +65 in an earlier poll. It was the popular leader’s lowest score in nine surveys taken since he took office in June 2016.
To reach each rating, the surveys subtract the percentage who respond with “low trust” in Duterte from those who said they had “much trust” in him.
SWS surveyed 1,200 people at the end of June, in a week when Duterte called God “stupid” during a verbal assault on the Catholic Church after top priests criticized his bloody anti-narcotics campaign, which has killed thousands of people.
The Philippines is majority Catholic.
Duterte again hit out at the church in a news conference on Saturday, calling priests’ groups “the most hypocritical institution in the Philippines today,” with the church facing child abuse cases in the Philippines and elsewhere.
Ramon Casiple, head of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms in Manila, said it was normal for a president’s rating to fall at the two-year stage of his term.
The survey did not ask respondents to explain their rating. Duterte had enjoyed high trust ratings, peaking at +79 shortly after taking office.
Duterte did not mention the survey results on Saturday but a spokesman welcomed the support.
“We are now working double time to aid families affected by high prices while keeping the economy stable,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
Annual inflation reached its highest in nearly a decade in August, exceeding expectations and increasing the changes of a fourth interest rate rise this year.


Portugal says Iranian visas suspended for consulate upgrade

Updated 38 min 40 sec ago
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Portugal says Iranian visas suspended for consulate upgrade

  • The suspension is temporary
  • Portuguese FM earlier said they suspended visas for unspecified security reasons

LISBON: Portugal stopped issuing entry visas for Iranian nationals while it upgrades security at its consulate in Tehran, not because of political issues or any security threats, the Portuguese foreign ministry said.

The suspension is temporary and alternatives will be put in place to issue travel documents to those who need them, the ministry said in a statement released late on Tuesday.

The move “does not result from an assessment of the general security conditions in Iran or any other institutional or political aspect,” the ministry said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva told a parliamentary committee that the issuance of visas had been suspended for unspecified security reasons.

Joao Goncalves Pereira, a lawmaker from the conservative CDS-PP party who had asked the minister about the suspension during the committee hearings, said that according to his information visas for Iranians had been suspended for two or three weeks.

The Iran embassy in Lisbon said a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry would issue a statement soon.