Forty-five percent of Filipinos agreed that they can speak “openly and without fear” even if it is against President Duterte, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results released on Monday, Oct. 4.
The non-commissioned survey, which was conducted from June 23 to 26, asked 1,200 respondents if they agree or disagree with the statement: “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against President Duterte.”
SWS found 45 percent of Filipinos who agreed (18 percent strongly agreed, 27 percent somewhat agreed), 27 percent undecided, and 27 percent who disagreed (14 percent somewhat disagreed, 13 percent strongly disagreed).
This yielded a net agreement score (percentage of those who agreed minus percentage of those who disagreed) of +18, classified by SWS as “moderate.”
SWS said that the latest score is a recovery from the “neutral” +5 in May 2021.
However, the pollster noted that 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 President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
The statement was first tested by SWS in July 1985, during the Marcos regime, and found only 33 percent agreed, while 29 percent 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.
Meanwhile, it averaged +33 during the administration of former President Corazon Aquino, +38 in the time of former President Fidel V. Ramos, +41 in the time of former President Joseph Estrada, +34 in the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and +32 in the time of former President Benigno S. Aquino III.
In the six times it was surveyed in the time of President Duterte, it ranged from a moderate +23 to a strong +46, SWS said.
Net agreement with the statement, “I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against President Duterte,” was highest in the Visayas (+24), followed by Metro Manila (+22), Balance Luzon (+15), and Mindanao (+15).
Meanwhile, it was highest among college graduates (+44) than among junior high school graduates (+15), elementary graduates (+12), and non-elementary graduates (+10).