Duterte keeps very good approval rating of 63% after 6 months in office: Poll

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte retained a "very good" opinion-poll rating after six months in office.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte retained a "very good" opinion-poll rating after six months in office. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (REUTERS) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte retained a "very good" opinion-poll rating after six months in office marked by surging deaths in his war on drugs, but many worry that his tirades against some foreign leaders could dent the country's image.

Duterte registered a net satisfaction rating of 63 per cent, just lower than the 64 per cent he got in September, the Social Weather Stations agency said in a statement on Thursday (Dec 15).

"We are... grateful to the Filipino people for giving the president two consecutive 'very good' net satisfaction ratings,"Duterte's communications minister, Martin Andanar, said in a statement.

The survey would inspire the president to "fulfil his promise of getting rid of drugs, crime and corruption in our society", Andanar said.

Duterte's war on drugs, the key plank of his campaign for a May election, has claimed about 5,000 lives since July 1.

In the same survey, 51 per cent of respondents agreed that the president's habit of foul-mouthed attacks on foreign leaders who anger him could be harmful for foreign relations.

Duterte called President Barack Obama a "son of a b****" before they were due to meet this year, because he anticipated that Obama would raise the issue of human rights. The United States called off the talks.

Duterte had previously used the epithet against Pope Francis, although he later apologised, and the US ambassador to the Philippines. He also cursed the United Nations and European Union after they raised questions about extra-judicial killings in his war on drugs.