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.


More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

Updated 35 min 37 sec ago
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More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

  • Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday
  • The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban

DURBAN: At least 60 people have been killed and more than 1,000 have fled their homes after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides along South Africa’s eastern coast, authorities said on Wednesday.
Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal province. Flooding also killed at least three people in neighboring Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said.
The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban. Multiple dwellings collapsed in mudslides, said Robert McKenzie, a KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman.
Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday.
Victor da Silva, a resident of the coastal town of Amanzimtoti, said his family managed to evacuate before the floods destroyed their home and cars.
“On Monday, the water was just crazy. And yesterday morning I got here, everything was fine, my garage was still here, the other part of the house was still here, and it just couldn’t stop raining,” Da Silva said. “And then an hour and a half later, everything poof (vanished) because the rain just hasn’t stopped.
Authorities in southern Tanzania ordered evacuations of residents from low-lying areas and the closure of schools and offices ahead of landfall of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth on neighboring Mozambique’s coast on Thursday.
“We’ve decided to evacuate all residents of valleys and other low-lying areas and we advise them to seek refuge at public spaces,” Mtwara regional commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa, told reporters.
Johan Fourie said he fled his home in Amanzimtoti, Kwazulu-Natal, just before part of it collapsed.
“I nearly lost my life, and my neighbor, I believe, is in hospital,” Fourie told eNCA television.
The region had been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not foresee the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
“As a result, there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said.
Some people were swept away by the water, he added.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday and was expected in the Eastern Cape in the next few days.
“This is partly what climate change is about, that it just hits when we least expect it,” he said.
Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds.