How popular is Duterte with Filipinos

Philippines: Duterte against God and all other sons of bitches

"Adam bites the apple and evil is born. What kind of stupid God is that supposed to be? If it really happened that way, then he's a son of a bitch", said the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on June 25th on television. In a country where the majority of the population is Catholic, this new insulting speech by the president was badly received. Durterte's poll numbers fell sharply.

A year ago his popularity ratings had reached record highs, today he only has 45% positive opinions. Until then, Rodrigo Duterte was very popular with the Filippinos, not least because of his fight against drugs. The zealous president had promised during his election campaign that he would address this problem. The result: after two years in office, 4,200 suspected drug addicts and traffickers were killed, according to the police. However, according to human rights organizations, there were three times as many victims. These organizations also denounce extrajudicial executions by the police or contract killers.

Rodrigo Duterte has no intention of stopping: "My fight against drugs will only stop when the last dealer and the last drug lord have been brought around the corner ". In a country plagued by crime, Rodrigo Duterte was first considered a true messiah. Until the moment he attacked God. But why did he have to provoke so suddenly? The Catholic Church had dared to criticize his crusade against drugs.

Obama, Pope Francis, the UN ... also insulted by Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte doesn't like to be criticized or disturbed. It is common knowledge. In 2016 he called Pope Francis a "Son of a bitch"all because the Supreme Shepherd's visit had caused traffic jams in Manila. A few months later, before a summit in Laos, he attacked Barack Obama and threw the same insult on his head. The Philippine President feared that his American colleague would criticize the human rights situation in his country.

Then UN rapporteurs were insulted for criticizing the extrajudicial killings advocated by the President. In response to these rude and undiplomatic remarks, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights replied that Rodrigo Duterte was probably "a psychiatric examination " need.

After all, the untouchable Filipino head of state announced last March the Philippines would withdraw from the International Criminal Court after it opened investigations into its anti-drug war. Even within his own country, Duterte's political opponents are being put out of the way. In February 2017, Senator Leila Magistrado de Lima was jailed for initiating investigations into his anti-drug war.

A president with two faces

Rodrigo Duterte is also in conflict with the church on social issues: he is for abortion and for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Rodrigo Duterte - a progressive man? When he was mayor of Davao, he campaigned for women to be able to assume political responsibility and passed several ordinances to encourage their access to the labor market.

Duterte was elected in the hope that he would bring peace and finally economic development back to a country that has been ravaged by guerrillas for fifty years. But so far he has found it difficult to keep his promises. The South China Morning Post believes his government is severely lacking answers to the economic and social issues facing Filipinos. For example, according to the newspaper, inflation rose 5.2% in a year, to its highest level in five years.