Opinion

OPINION | THE MYTH OF DUTERTE’S POPULARITY AS HE ENDS HIS TERM

THE MYTH OF DUTERTE’S POPULARITY AS HE ENDS HIS TERM
OPINION | SIEGFRED DEDURO

Filipinos are made to believe that President Duterte remains popular as he caps his term.  This myth is based on surveys and reinforced by the government social media troll farms and sustained disinformation thru the main media outlets.

A wrong discernment on this issue may spell defeat or disadvantage to candidates who align themselves with Duterte or take a wishy-washy position in relation to Duterte.

 

FALSE POSITIVE SURVEYS

Like COVID-19 antigen tests, surveys could be false positive.  

No less than Pulse Asia president Ronnie Holmes have not ruled out the fear factor in their interviews. 

Hindi mo rin puwedeng tanggalin na mayroong mga ibang tao na maaaring ang nananaig sa kanila ay ang apprehension o takot, pero ganun pa man ang kanilang ipinapahayag yung kanilang opinion,” Holmes said in the “Basagan ng Trip” interview that aired on Sunday, October 11.

Kung talagang nangingibabaw ang takot ngayon, hindi mawawala yung takot na iyon kahit wala si Duterte. Pero mas importante rito, doon sa aming isinasagawang survey, tinitignan rin naming yung nonverbal behavior ng respondent,” Holmes said.[1]

Mangahas revealed the findings in an Inquirer column on Saturday, where he said the Social Weather Station (SWS) found in June 2019 that 51% of Filipinos agreed with the statement: “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.”[2]

The SWS July 2021 survey also reveals that 45% say it is dangerous to publish things critical of the administration; only 25% say it is not dangerous.[3] Indeed, who among the interviewees would not have serious apprehension of being a target of retaliation amidst the state-instigated climate of terror and impunity?

Meanwhile, surveys taken thru the filter of fear, respondents have now gradually expressed their real sentiments. 

The September 2021 Pulse Asia survey shows that in the span of a year, approval ratings for how the government is preventing infections and fighting corruption fall by 25 percentage points.[4]

 

ALIGNING WITH OR AN INDECISIVE POSITION IN RELATION TO DUTERTE IS A DOWNSIDE TO CANDIDATES

Filipinos want change. They don’t want another Duterte nor a Marcos in Malacanang.  They want a leadership who is compassionate, competent, upright, defender of human rights and nationalist.

Whoever sides with Duterte and/or Marcos will be spurned by the people. The cutting edge issue in the 2022 elections is whether to enable or reject a Duterte dynastic succession and/or a Marcos restoration.

Iloilo Province Gov. Defensor, Iloilo City Mayor Treñas, and Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao have taken the right decision to jump out of the Duterte camp.  Hopefully, Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores and Guimaras Gov. Samuel Gumarin will follow suit.

On the other hand, the decision of Capiz Gov. Esteban Evan Contreras, former Governors Victor Tanco, Vicente Bermejo, Esteban Contreras and Jose Ting Borda is problematic.  In their desire to end the Roxas political dynasty in Capiz, they chose to side with Duterte.

They should be reminded that they may be seen by Capizenos as enablers of impunity in extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests based on trumped up charges, incompetence in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and corruption.

Also, none of those who support Duterte raised their voices against the heinous massacre of 9 Tumandok leaders and the arrest of 16 others last December 30, 2020 in Tapaz; they have all but disregarded the outrage of church leaders, various  sectors and friends of the Tumandok people both nationally and internationally./PT

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