Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s “separation” from the United States and so-called pivot to its rivals, majority of Filipinos still trust the global superpower and its ally Japan, and distrust China and Russia, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.
The survey, conducted from Dec. 6 to 11, 2016, showed that the US and Japan both scored high majority trust ratings of 76 and 70 percent, respectively, among 1,200 respondents. This was the majority sentiment in all geographic areas (ranging from 69 percent to 83 percent for the US and 58 percent to 76 percent for Japan) and socio-economic classes (74 percent to 82 percent and 62 to 83 percent, respectively), Pulse Asia said.
Distrust in the US and Japan was expressed by 23 and 29 percent of Filipinos, respectively, while only one percent of respondents were undecided. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to arrive in Manila for an official visit on Thursday and drop by Duterte’s hometown in Davao.
More than half of Filipinos in most geographic areas and socio-economic groupings expressed distrust to China (61 percent). High distrust was also recorded for Russia (58 percent) and Great Britain (55 percent).
Amid criticisms of human rights abuses in the administration’s crackdown on narcotics, Duterte has taken steps to seek alliances with China and Russia as he veered away from the West. In his state visit to Beijing last year, the President sealed billions in credit pledges and investment and agreed to enter into bilateral talks on the South China Sea dispute.
Duterte, who is set to visit Moscow in April, has also repeatedly said he would buy firearms and weapons from Russia.
“Majorities in most geographic areas [53 percent to 68 percent] and all socio-economic groupings [52 percent to 62 percent] distrust Great Britain while the majority sentiment in Metro Manila is one of trust [55 percent]. For its part, Russia registers majority distrust scores in the rest of Luzon [61 percent] and the Visayas [69 percent] as well as in every socio-economic class [56 percent to 65 percent] but it has virtually the same trust and distrust figures in Metro Manila [46 percent versus 50 percent] and Mindanao [50 percent versus 46 percent],” Pulse Asia said.
“In the case of China, it obtains majority distrust figures in almost all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings [60 percent to 67 percent and 60 percent to 70 percent, respectively], with Mindanao and Class ABC being the exceptions. In both subgroupings, China records essentially the same trust and distrust ratings [47 percent versus 50 percent and 48 percent versus 49 percent, respectively],” it added.