SWS: 51% of Filipinos think it is ‘dangerous’ to publish anything critical of Duterte admin

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Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during the opening session of the ASEAN and European Union summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay, metro Manila, Philippines on November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

A recent Social Weather Stations mobile poll revealed that half of Filipinos think it’s dangerous to report anything critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

The results of survey released on Friday showed that fifty-one percent of Filipino adults agreed with the statement “it is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth,” SWS said, equivalent to a +21 net agreement score.

Only 30 percent disagreed, while 18 percent were undecided.

Net agreement this year that reporting critically of Duterte’s administration is dangerous was lower by 10 points at a moderate +21 compared to a strong +31 reported in June 2019, SWS said.

Those who strongly disagree rose to 17 percent from 8 percent last year, while those who somewhat disagree went to 14 percent from 12 percent.

The proportion of those who are undecided fell from 29 percent to 18 percent, SWS said.

Compared to the June 2019 poll, SWS said net agreement stayed strong in Mindanao and Visayas but fell in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon.

In Visayas and Mindanao, belief that critical reporting on the Duterte administration is dangerous increased to +26 and +28 respectively from +25 and +27.

Net agreement in Metro Manila however fell to +16 this year from +32 in June 2019. SWS said it also fell from strong to moderate in Balance Luzon, down from +34 in June 2019 to moderate +16 in July 2020.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted from July 3 to 6 using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide and has a sampling error margin of ±2 percent for national percentages.

President Duterte has been known to publicly voice his dislike of media companies that have been critical in their reporting of his leadership such as ABS-CBN, broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer, and news website Rappler.

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