Senate President Vicente Sotto III has given a rating of President Duterte an “8.5 out 10” for his performance in the last four years.
Duterte marked on Tuesday his fourth year in office, since taking his oath as the Philippines’ chief executive on June 30, 2016.
“On a scale of one to 10 — 10 being the highest — PRRD, in my scorecard, gets an 8.5,” Sotto told reporters in an online interview.
“President Duterte has strived to uplift the people’s welfare with a firm hand, and this is something that is seldom seen from the executive department,” he added.
The Senate chief particularly lauded Duterte’s campaign against drugs, or his “war on drugs”, and other forms of crimes in the country, including violent insurgencies and terrorism.
“He has practically reduced the noise and violence of separatists — I’m not saying they are gone, but reduced — and terrorists from the south. He has contained that half century-old local communist insugency and criminal syndicates, they really (lay) low,” Sotto said.
Sotto also noted Duterte’s “independent” foreign policy. “Dynamic, if I may say so, but no longer marching to the feet of the United States.”
The economy is also stable, he said, until the COVID-19 started affecting the country. He also cited the accomplishments in the labor sector under the Duterte administration, including the improving the situation of overseas Filipino workers abroad.
Sotto said problems with the country’s transport sector and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that account for the remain 1.5 points for Duterte to get a perfect grade.
“We must relieve ourselves from (the) problem(s) of the pandemic and of course, continue with the economic gains that have been in place before the COVID-19, and address the transportation issues. And gain more as far as peace and order is concerned,” he said.
“Over all, I think, hope is in abundance for the remaining couple of years of the present administration,” he added.