Policemen patrol around a slum area during a police operation as part of the continuing 'War on Drugs' campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines. Image Credit: AP

Manila: A June survey said the government’s drive against illegal drugs continues to enjoy strong support with 78 per cent of those polled saying they are satisfied with the campaign.

On the other hand, another survey by the same pollster, also said an adjunct government drive to arrest “tambays” or idlers, violates the rights of the subject individuals.

“The Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, fielded on June 27-30, 2018, found 78 per cent satisfied and 13 per cent dissatisfied with the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, for a net satisfaction rating (per cent satisfied minus per cent dissatisfied) of +65, classified by SWS as very good,” the Social Weather Stations (SWS), an independent pollster, said in a report released on Sunday.

It added that the Duterte administration’s 78 per cent satisfaction rating is higher than the 75 per cent registered during March 2018.

Speaking during a regular palace press briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the survey results means “that government is doing the right thing” in addressing the issue on drugs.

“This is a testament that the drug war continues to enjoy the broad support of our people, notwithstanding the efforts of the detractors and critics of the administration to politicise the issue or discredit the campaign’s success,” he said.

In February of this year, The Hague, Netherlands-based International Criminal Court started preliminary actions into the government of President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called “war on drugs” which critics claimed victimised thousands of Filipinos.

Roque said that politics notwithstanding, it is the aspiration of every Filipino “for a crime-free society which can be realised by stopping the spread of criminality and fighting the scourge of drugs.”

The Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey also revealed that found that 60 per cent of adult Filipinos agree that “Police arresting idlers or ‘tambays’ is a violation of their human rights.”

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide.

Respondents

The poll garnered responses from each locale from 300 adults (18 years old and above) from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The results of the survey also revealed that 58 per cent of those polled say that police do not discriminate by social class when arresting tambays.

They were posed the question: “In your opinion, who do you think would usually be arrested for loitering by the police? Do you think the usual persons who would be arrested by the police for loitering are ‘Only the poor, Only the rich, or The police do not choose a class?’”

Roque said that the matter concerning the arrest of Tambays (unemployed vagrants) “has already been clarified when the President had said that he did not order the arrest of these people, for loitering.”

“Loitering per se, is not a crime. Authorities then issued guidelines that they would not bring to the police station those without violations,” Roque said.