BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT, Manila Times, JANUARY 13, 2017
DESPITE President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the United States, majority of Filipinos still trust the global superpower and its leading ally Japan, while having the opposite view toward China and Russia, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The poll, conducted from December 6 to 11, showed that the country’s long-time allies, the US and Japan, scored high trust ratings of 76 percent and 70 percent, respectively, among 1,200 respondents.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Manila on Thursday afternoon for a two-day visit, meeting with President Duterte in Malacañang.
The survey showed that 61 percent of Filipinos distrust China and 58 percent feel the same way toward Russia, amid Duterte’s efforts to forge closer relations with Beijing and Moscow.
At the same time, 55 percent of Filipinos distrust Great Britain, while 50 percent trust the European Union.
Filipinos trust UN
The same survey also showed that 74 percent of Filipinos trust the United Nations, which Duterte has slammed for its supposed hypocrisy over human rights.
The survey had a ±3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.
The poll results come as Duterte forges an independent foreign policy that rejects “subservience” to the US, and seeks “non-traditional” partners.
In his speech during Wednesday’s Vin d’Honneur in the Palace, the President said his administration would nurture “existing friendships” even as it pursues new ties with other countries.
“We value partners as we seek strengthened existing friendships even as we pursue new ones. We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress, and prosperity,” Duterte told diplomats in Malacañang.