A lot of Filipinos believe that it is “dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical” of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, “even if it is the truth.”
A survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations from June 23-24 shows that 45 percent of the respondents say it is dangerous to publish things critical of the Duterte administration.
At least 28% of the respondents are undecided, and 25% disagree with the statement.
“This gives a moderate net agreement score of +20,” read an SWS statement on October 4.
The survey result is similar to the moderate +18 in May 2021, following an 18-point decline from the very strong +49 in November 2020.
On the statement “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against President Duterte,” 45% of the respondents agree, 27% are undecided, and 27% disagree.
This gives a net agreement score of +18, classified by SWS as moderate. This is a recovery from the neutral +5 in May 2021.
However, the net agreement scores in May 2021 and June 2021 are lower than in previous surveys when the test statement was “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration,” except for the record-low neutral +3 in July 1985, during the time of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Surveys of personal freedom of speech
In the May 2021 and June 2021 surveys, the statement tested by SWS was, “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against President Duterte.”
In previous surveys, the statement was, “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration.”
This statement was first tested by SWS in July 1985, during the Marcos regime, and found only 33% agreed, while 29% disagreed, for a record-low net agreement of a neutral +3.
Net agreement rose to a strong +39 in May 1986 and reached its all-time high of a very strong +63 in March 1987.
It averaged +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 Noynoy Aquino.
In the six times it was surveyed in the time of Duterte, it ranged from a moderate +23 to a strong +46.
Net personal freedom to speak freely against President Duterte rises in all areas and in all educational levels, especially among college graduates
The Second Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey was conducted from June 23 to 26, 2021, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
The sampling error margins are ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.