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Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the Campaign Against Illegal Drugs from the September 2017 Ulat ng Bayan national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from September 24 – 30, 2017 using face-to-face interviews.

The following are among the key developments that dominated the headlines in the days leading up to the survey period as well as during the conduct of the actual survey interviews:

1.    The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the shipment of illegal drugs worth P 6.4 billion that slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) last May 2017 and the appearance of Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manases Carpio before the committee on 07 September 2017 during which they denied any links to the reported drug smuggling and corruption occurring in the BOC;

2.    The refusal of former BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to attend several hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and his decision to turn himself in to the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms after Senator Richard Gordon cited him for contempt for being absent in previous hearings;

3.    The filing of an ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by Senator Gordon arising from the former’s unparliamentary acts and language as well as disorderly behavior during the 31 August 2017 on the said drug shipment;

4.    The filing of double murder charges against the Caloocan City policemen and taxi driver implicated in the killing of Karl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman and the sacking of virtually the entire Caloocan City police force in the aftermath of the killing of these teenagers and a break-in and robbery carried out by its members;

5.    The statement made by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa denying any state policy to kill drug suspects in the conduct of the administration’s “war on drugs”;

6.    The trip to Singapore by Senator Trillanes to dispute allegations made by President Duterte that he owns several accounts in foreign banks and the lawmaker’s challenge to the President for the latter to sign bank waivers to allow authorities to scrutinize his bank accounts to prove that he has no ill-gotten wealth;

7.    The threat made by President Duterte to create an independent commission to investigate corruption within the Office of the Ombudsman after the latter launched a fact-finding investigation into the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the President and his family;

8.    The commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on 21 September 2017, with various groups staging protest actions nationwide, as well as the observance of the 100th birthday of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, with his supporters holding a celebration in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB);

9.    The death of the so-called “most wanted drug lord” in Iloilo on 02 September 2017 during a shootout which ensued while the police was in the process of serving him a warrant of arrest and the cancellation of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido’s transfer to Iloilo City from Ozamiz City;

10.    The call made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for the Catholic faithful to light candles and offer prayers for 40 days for the victims of the administration’s “war on drugs”;

11.    The suspected hazing death of a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student in the hands of members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity and the joint hearing into the matter conducted by three (3) Senate Committees;

12.    The approval by the House of Representatives on third and final reading of the P 3.8 billion annual budget, with the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) being slashed by P 115 million;

13.    The confirmation by the military that Abdullah Maute, one of the leaders of the Maute group responsible for the continuing crisis in Marawi City, was killed during military operations in the area between 14 and 26 August 2017;

14.    The arrest of Puerto Princesa City Vice-Mayor Luis Marcaida on 04 September 2017 for possession of illegal drugs found in his residence during a raid conducted by the police and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA);

15.    The House Committee on Justice’s dismissal of the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairperson Andres Bautista and the filing of an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno;

16.    The rejection by the Commission on Appointments (CA) of the appointment of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano, the resignation of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, and the removal of Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Chief Anna Rosario Paner;

17.    The denial by the Office of the Ombudsman of the motion for reconsideration filed by former President Benigno S. Aquino III in connection with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’s 13 June 2017 order to charge him for usurpation of authority and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act arising from his decision to allow former PNP Chief Alan Purisima, who was then under suspension, to lead Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015;

18.    The Sandiganbayan’s decisions to allow former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to post bail for plunder and 11 violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr. in connection with the anomalous Makati City Hall parking building project;

19.    In international news, the testing of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea on 03 September 2017 and its firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on 15 September 2017; another terrorist attack in London which injured at least 30 individuals which was supposedly carried out by a “detachment” of the Islamic State (IS); the unresolved crisis in Myanmar which has seen the continued exodus of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh; the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Mexico on 19 September 2017 which resulted in more than 270 deaths; the destruction and deaths in the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and parts of the United States caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria; and

20.    In economic and financial news, the continued strong performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) when it nearly breached the 8,300 mark as it reached another record high on 18 September 2017, closing at 8,294 points and the announcement of an increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila from P 481 to P 502 effective 05 October 2017.

As in our previous Ulat ng Bayan surveys, this nationwide survey is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)

Pulse Asia Research’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.  Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President at 09189335497 (via mobile, Viber or Telegram) or at ronald.holmes@gmail.com (via email.)

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Public awareness of the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” is virtually universal (100%), with most of them (88%) expressing support for the campaign

In September 2017, awareness of the campaign against illegal drugs being carried out by the national administration is essentially universal not only at the national level but also across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (all at 100%). Levels of awareness in the Philippines as a whole and in the various areas and classes have remained unchanged year-on-year and from one quarter to another since September 2016. (Please refer to Table 1.)

Support for the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” is the majority sentiment among Filipinos (88%). Basically the same levels of support obtain across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (84% to 94% and 80% to 89%, respectively). Only 2% of Filipinos are not supportive of the campaign while 9% are unable to say if they support or do not support the same. Less than 1% of Filipinos are unable to state their position on the matter, even in terms of indecision. (Please refer to Table 2.)

The majority sentiment among Filipinos (73%) is that extrajudicial killings are occurring in the conduct of the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs”; between June and September 2017, agreement with this view becomes slightly more pronounced (+6 percentage points) while disagreement eases markedly (-9 percentage points)

As regards the allegation that extrajudicial killings (EJKs) are taking place in the course of the administration’s implementation of its “war on drugs”, 73% of Filipinos believe this to be true – a view echoed by majorities in all areas and classes (67% to 78% and 70% to 77%, respectively). On the other hand, 20% of Filipinos do not believe EJKs are happening in the implementation of the anti-illegal drugs campaign. Almost one (1) in 10 Filipinos (7%) refused to answer the question. (Please refer to Table 3.)

During the period June to September 2017, there is a decline in the percentage of Filipinos who do not believe EJKs are occurring in the conduct of the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. Similar movements are registered in Mindanao (-15 percentage points) and in Class D (-10 percentage points). And while the increase in the percentage of Filipinos who believe the allegation that EJKs are taking place in the implementation of the “war on drugs” falls short of being considered significant (+6 percentage points), a notable increase is recorded in Mindanao (+17 percentage points).

Nearly all Filipinos know about the case of Kian delos Santos (94%), with most of them (76%) expressing concern that they or someone they know may meet the same fate because of the “war on drugs”

At the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, at least nine (9) in 10 Filipinos have heard, read, or watched something about the killing of Kian delos Santos last 16 August 2017 (90% to 98%). More than three-quarters of those aware of this case (76%) admit being worried that they, a member of their family, a relative, or an acquaintance may experience the same fate as delos Santos due to the implementation of the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. This sentiment is shared by big majorities in each geographic area and socio-economic class (74% to 84% and 71% to 81%, respectively). Of the total figure of 76%, 43% are very worried about the possibility of this happening to them or someone they know while 34% are somewhat worried. Around the same percentages of Filipinos are either ambivalent on the matter (13%) or are not worried (11%). (Please refer to Table 4.)

Most Filipinos (58%) say the leaders of the Catholic Church should help with the rehabilitation of drug addicts

A small majority of Filipinos (58%) would like the leaders of the Catholic Church to assist with the rehabilitation of drug addicts as part of the administration’s “war on drugs”. This is the preferred action of most Filipinos across areas and classes (53% to 64% and 54% to 60%, respectively). Around the same percentages of Filipinos say the leaders of the Catholic Church should either monitor the conduct of the anti-illegal drugs campaign (46%) or release statements expressing their concern about the deaths that have taken place as a result of the campaign (40%). Both options have the support of most Visayans (51% and 52%, respectively). (Please refer to Table 5.)

The third most often mentioned action among Filipinos is for the Catholic Church leadership to assist in litigating alleged abusive law enforcers (28%). Only about one (1) in 10 Filipinos would like for the latter to take a hands-off policy when it comes to the “war on drugs” (13%) or to embark on an international campaign to exert pressure on the Duterte administration to suspend “Oplan Tokhang” (11%).

Almost eight (8) in 10 Filipinos (77%) are aware of anti-illegal drug operations conducted in their barangay in the past year; most of them characterize these operations as orderly (86%) and report awareness of someone being either arrested (69%) or having surrendered (82%) in the course of these operations

A huge majority of Filipinos (77%) know of anti-illegal drugs operations in their barangay conducted by the police or local government authorities in the previous year. Majority levels of awareness are posted across areas and classes (65% to 88% and 75% to 81%, respectively). Awareness is more marked in Metro Manila and Mindanao (83% to 88%) than in the Visayas (65%). Non-awareness is reported by 21% of Filipinos while 2% refused to answer the survey probe. These figures are consistent with those recorded by Pulse Asia Research in June 2017. The only exception is the decline in the level of awareness in the Visayas (-16 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 6.)

In the opinion of most of those aware of anti-illegal drug operations in their barangay in the past year (86%), these operations were conducted in an orderly manner – an assessment shared by majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (71% to 91% and 86%, respectively). There are no significant changes between the June 2017 and September 2017 figures. In contrast, 11% of those aware of such operations in their barangay describe these as violent. Agreement with this view ranges from 8% in the rest of Luzon and Mindanao to 25% in Metro Manila and from 10% in Class D to 14% in Class ABC. Between June and September 2017, the percentage of those saying these operations were violent goes down in Class D (-8 percentage points). Meanwhile, 3% of those aware of such operations refused to share their assessment of the manner by which these operations were carried out.

In those areas where anti-illegal drug operations were conducted in the previous year, 82% say there were people who surrendered to the authorities while 69% report awareness of people being arrested. Majorities in the different areas and classes are aware of people either being arrested (64% to 73% and 63% to 70%, respectively) or surrendering to the authorities (67% to 92% and 74% to 86%, respectively). Additionally, 21% of those aware of anti-illegal drug operations in their barangay know of someone either being killed (21%) or injured (14%) in the conduct of such operations. Higher levels of awareness of people being injured are recorded in Metro Manila and the Visayas (22% to 25%) than in the rest of Luzon (6%) while awareness of deaths related to these operations is more pronounced in Metro Manila (40%) than in the other areas (15% to 20%).

Between June and September 2017, there is a slight increase in the overall level of awareness of people being arrested/injured/killed or having surrendered in the conduct of the anti-illegal drug operations across the country (+6 percentage points). Across areas and classes, the following changes may be noted: (1) in the rest of Luzon, there is a decline in the level of awareness of people being injured (-17 percentage points); (2) in the Visayas, there is an increase in the percentage of those who know of someone suffering injuries due to the operations (+12 percentage points); and (3) in the rest of Luzon, there is a drop in the level of awareness of deaths resulting from the anti-illegal drug campaign in their area (-15 percentage points).

Non-awareness of any of these developments is reported by basically the same percentages in June and September 2017 (9% and 4%, respectively). Refusal to answer is recorded at 2% and 1% for the same survey periods.