Duterte Keeps Majority Approval After South China Sea Issue


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte kept his majority approval rating halfway through his term, according to a survey done after a South China Sea incident that highlighted his stance on Beijing.

Duterte’s approval rating declined to 85% from 87% last quarter, pollster Pulse Asia said Wednesday in e-mailed results of an end-June nationwide survey, adding that the drop was “marginal in nature.”

The survey was done weeks after the June 9 collision involving Philippine and Chinese vessels in disputed waters, which Duterte described as a “maritime incident.” The president’s rating hit a new high in a separate Social Weather Stations survey conducted two weeks after the incident.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who visited the fishermen left stranded at sea after the collision, saw a 6-point increase in her approval rating to 55% in June, Pulse Asia said. Senate President Tito Sotto’s rating also rose 12 points to 77% in the same survey.