62% approve admin performance on defending territory

MANILA The Duterte administration has obtained a 62-percent approval rating in its performance with regard to defending the country's territorial integrity against foreigners, a latest Pulse Asia survey showed.

Pulse Asia president, Roland Holmes, on Thursday revealed the results of a June 15-25 survey, commissioned by the Albert del Rosario Institute, in line with the second anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration's July 12 award.

Of the 1,800 respondents, 10 percent disapproved while 27 percent were undecided. The approval rating decreased 5 percent from a March 2018 survey, which then showed 67 percent of Filipinos approve of the administration's performance on the same subject.

Meanwhile, at least 73 percent believe that the current leadership should assert sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea by using the landmark ruling as basis.

The respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree that "the Duterte administration should assert our rights and protect our territorial sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, as stipulated in the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration."

The statement generated a 73-percent nod, of which 46 percent "strongly agree", and 27 percent "somewhat agree".

Of the total sample, 2 percent said they do not have enough knowledge to give an opinion, 7 percent disagreed, and 17 percent answered they "may agree and may disagree".

PH should protest "militarization"

Holmes said "a plurality" of Filipinos would like the government "to protest the continuous militarization of the Chinese" in the West Philippine Sea.

In its questionnaire asking the participants what position should the administration uphold in the reported Chinese militarization in the contested waters, four points dominated the response.

A total of 36 percent agreed that the country should file a diplomatic protest with the Chinese embassy in the Philippines and emphasize the decision of the award.

Some 22 percent said the government should strengthen the country's military alliance with other nations, such as Japan, the United States, and Australia; while 16 percent said the country itself should strengthen its military capability to protect its territories.

On the other hand, 21 percent agreed that Manila should "continue the current action of befriending" Beijing to avoid conflict between the two states.

Countries Filipinos trust

In one part of the survey, a plurality expressed most trust in Japan, US, and Australia, as well as the United Nations (UN) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Of 12 options, 74 percent of the respondents placed trust most in the US, about 45 percent in Japan, 32 percent in Australia, 17 percent in China, 14 percent in South Korea, 10 percent in Russia, 9 percent in the United Kingdom, 5 percent in Vietnam, and 2 percent in India.

Among the selections of organizations, 33 percent had most trust in the ASEAN, 32 percent in the UN, and 7 percent in the European Union. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency