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Government’s war vs illegal drugs draws ‘excellent’ satisfaction rating from Filipinos

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By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Filipinos’ satisfaction with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs remained “excellent”, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.

This picture taken on October 29, 2016 shows police officers investigating a crime scene where two alleged drug dealers were gunned down by unidentified men in Manila. (AFP PHOTO / Noel Celis / MANILA BULLETIN)

This picture taken on October 29, 2016 shows police officers investigating a crime scene where two alleged drug dealers were gunned down by unidentified men in Manila. (AFP PHOTO / Noel Celis / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In the second quarter 2019 survey conducted last June 22-26 with 1,200 adult respondents, SWS found 82 percent of Filipinos satisfied (54 percent very satisfied, 28 percent somewhat satisfied), 6 percent undecided, and 12 percent dissatisfied (5 percent very dissatisfied, 7 percent somewhat dissatisfied) with the national administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

This translates to a net satisfaction rating (percent satisfied minus percent dissatisfied) of +70, classified by SWS as “excellent.”

SWS said the June 2019 net satisfaction rating of the campaign against illegal drugs ties the excellent +70 in March 2019.

It noted that net satisfaction with the campaign has always been either very good (+50 to +69) or excellent (+70 and above) in the past 11 survey rounds.

The campaign recorded its highest satisfaction rating in December 2016 at excellent +77.

Among the 82 percent who said they were satisfied with the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, their most common reason was “drug suspects have lessened” at 40 percent.

This was similar to the 39 percent in June 2018, 38 percent in March 2018, and 35 percent in December 2017.

Following the most common reason were “drug suspects have been arrested” at 18 percent, and “lessened crime” at 13 percent.

Rounding the top five reasons were “it diminished the drug trade” (8 percent), and improved peace and order (5 percent).

Other responses obtained single-digit scores.

Meanwhile, among the 12 percent who said they were dissatisfied with the anti-illegal drugs campaign, the most common reason was “drug trade/drug suspects are still prevalent” at 42 percent.

This was followed by “too many killings” at 31 percent, “abuse of power and bias in the operations” at 12 percent, “too many wrongful suspects/arrests/mistaken identity” at 9 percent, and “drug suspects are being killed” at 2 percent.

The rest of the responses obtained marginal scores.

SWS said the most common reason for being dissatisfied with the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign varied across surveys.

Too many wrongful suspects/arrests/mistaken identity was the most common reason for the dissatisfaction with the anti-illegal drugs campaign in December 2017 (50 percent) and March 2018 (33 percent), while too many killings topped the list in June 2018.

The June 2019 survey also found that among the 6 percent who were undecided about the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, the top reason for their indecision was that drug trade/drug suspects were still prevalent at 35 percent.

This was followed distantly by too many killings with 17 percent.

Obtaining single-digit scores were abuse of power and bias in the operations (7 percent), too many wrongful suspects/arrests/mistaken identity (7 percent), drug suspects are being killed (6 percent), drug suspects have lessened (6 percent), lessened crime (3 percent), and drug suspects have been arrested (2 percent).

Thirteen percent gave other reasons.

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