SWS September poll shows half of Pinoys agreed with martial law extension

By Kristine Joy Patag

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An activist holds a placard denouncing martial law during a rally held in Manila after the Supreme Court upheld President  Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao. AP

MANILA, Philippines — More than half of Filipinos agreed on President Rodrigo Duterte's move to extend martial law over Mindanao until the end of the year, an SWS survey conducted in September showed.

The survey was conducted on September 23-27, but the results were released only November 10. The survey period also preceded the declared liberation of Marawi City after a months-long urban battle between state forces and extremist militants.

The poll showed that 54 percent of Filipinos saw the need to carry out the president's proposal to extend the military rule in the southern island until the end of the year.

The Social Weather Stations asked 1,500 adults, using face-to-face interviews how much do they agree or disagree on Duterte's proposal to the Congress to extend Martial Law in the whole of Mindanao until December 31."

They were also asked: "How much do you agree or disagree with the decision of the Congress?"

On May 23, Duterte placed the entire region of Mindanao under the martial law due to the Islamic State and Maute terrorists group laying siege on Marawi City.

Before the 60-day period allowed by the present constitution lapsed, the Congress convened on July 22 and voted to extend the rule over the region.

READ: 57% of Pinoys approve of martial law in Mindanao

The survey showed that 31 percent of Filipinos strongly agreed, 22 percent somewhat agree with the extension proposal, while 30 percent disagreed. Sixteen percent, however, are undecided.

64% in Mindanao agreed

According to the survey, 64 percent of the respondents in Mindanao agreed, while 23 percent disagreed.

Poll conducted in balance Luzon, meanwhile, showed  50 percent of Filipinos agree, while 28 percent disagree. Metro Manila had a moderately strong agreement on the proposal with 55 percent agreeing with the proposal, while 33 percent disagree.

Half of the respondents (49 percent) in Visayas agreed while 34 percent disagreed.

Net agreement was the highest among the upper class with +49 net agreement while class D was moderately strong at +38 and class E was neutral at +6.

The agreement was also higher in overall urban areas and stronger among men and college graduates.

Satisfaction with Duterte, disagreement with martial law correlated

Those who disagreed with Duterte's proposal gave a moderate +12 net satisfaction for his performance, while those who supported to move gave the tough-talking leader's performance +68 net satisfaction.

Supporters of the move to extend the military rule gave the national administration an excellent net satisfaction of +72, while those who viewed the proposal otherwise gave the government +34 satisfaction.

Duterte and the national administration only received +16 and +38 net satisfaction from among those who voted against the extension proposal.

Palace welcomes survey results

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, at a press briefing in Vietnam, said that the Palace is "grateful that the majority of the Filipino people have shown support for the declaration of martial law."

Roque stressed that the putting the entire island of Mindanao under military rule " was necessary to deal with actual terrorism in Marawi. It was not just a threat. It resulted in actual fighting and it lasted more than 50 days."

"[W]e feel that the declaration was very much justified and we appreciate the support of the people for such a declaration, " Roque added.

Although Marawi City was declared liberated on October 23, mopping up and clearing operations continue. Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo Del Rosario said last Friday that there are around 50 Maute stragglers in parts of the city.

Rebuilding in the war-torn city will start mid-2018, according to Del Rosario. Meanwhile, Duterte has yet to lift martial law in Mindanao.

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