More than half say freedom of speech strong under Duterte

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he mimics "slitting of the throat" during a speech to evacuess from Marawi at an evacuation center in Iligan on the southern island of Mindanao on June 20, 2017.

More than half Filipinos believe that freedom of speech in the Philippines remained strong under the Duterte administration, a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed.

The survey, released on June 30 and conducted among 1,200 respondents from March 25-28, showed 55 per cent of Filipinos agreed to the statement "I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration."

SWS said 21 per cent disagreed with the statement while 24 per cent remained undecided, for a "strong" +34 net agreement rating.

The SWS scores net agreement ratings +50 and above as very strong; +30 to +49 as strong; +10 to +29 as moderate; +9 to -9 as neutral; -10 to -29 as poor; -30 to -49 as weak; and -50 and below as very weak.

The survey showed that freedom of speech was "strong in all areas" with Visayas at +37, Mindanao and Balance Luzon at +34 and Metro Manila at +30.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech net agreement was strongest in Classes ABC and D at +37. Class E got a moderate +16 net rating.

SWS said the net score average for freedom of speech was at +33 during the administration of Cory Aquino, +38 in the time of Fidel Ramos, +41 in the time of Joseph Estrada, +34 in the time of Gloria Arroyo, and +32 in the time of Benigno Aquino III.

PHOTO: Social Weather Stations (SWS)