Palace welcomes continued public support for war vs terror

MANILA -- MalacaAang on Wednesday expressed its gratitude to the public for its continuing support to the government's efforts to quell the Maute terrorist group, which laid siege to Marawi City for five months, following a recent survey which showed majority of respondents saying they are satisfied with the performance of President Rodrigo Duterte and his government in dealing with the terrorists.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which was conducted from September 23 to 27, showed that 66 percent of Filipinos were contented with the government's action to suppress the Maute group while 18 percent were dissatisfied and 16 percent were undecided.

The September 2017 survey also showed that net satisfaction with President Duterte's performance, and the national administration's performance on fighting terrorism and reconciliation with Muslim rebels, was highest among those who were satisfied with the government's actions in suppressing the Maute group.

Net satisfaction with Pres. Duterte was a very good +67 among those who are very satisfied with the government's action in suppressing the Maute group. It was also a very good +52 among those who are somewhat satisfied.

We are grateful for our people's continuing satisfaction with the government's action in suppressing the Maute Group, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Indeed, it was President Duterte's swift and decisive leadership which thwarted the Daesh-inspired Maute Group to establish a caliphate in Marawi City and in Mindanao, Roque said.

President Duterte placed the whole of Mindanao under martial law on May 23 after Islamic State-inspired Maute members, aided by several Abu Sayyaf and foreign terrorists, attacked Marawi City.

The city was finally liberated last October after five months of intense urban warfare which resulted in the deaths of 962 terrorists and 165 state forces.

The military said its troops continue to pursue a number of Maute stragglers believed to be still hiding within the main battle area.

Military operations are also continuing to neutralize other armed terror groups, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), in Mindanao.

Roque assured that "security forces would remain proactive in monitoring and dealing with these evil forces even as he urged the public to stand united in the fight against terror.

We, therefore, call on our people to stand united and work as one nation as we hunt down all lawless elements who are out to destroy the peace prevailing in our communities, Roque said.

In the meantime, the same survey showed that three out of five Filipinos believe that terrorist groups who invaded Marawi City receive drug trade money.

Duterte had repeatedly said that drug money funded the Marawi siege.

The September 2017 survey found that 60 percent of respondents believe that terrorist groups who invaded Marawi City, such as Abu Sayyaf and the Maute group, are currently receiving money from the illegal drug trade while 11 percent say they do not believe, and 29 percent are undecided.

The belief that the terrorist groups that invaded Marawi City also receive money from the illegal drug trade was highest in Metro Manila at 72 percent, followed by Mindanao at 65 percent, Visayas at 60 percent, and Balance Luzon at 54 percent.

By education, the belief was highest among college graduates at 71 percent, followed by high school graduates at 66 percent, elementary school graduates at 53 percent, and non-elementary school graduates at 48 percent.

Source: Philippine News Agency