The poll, taken from Dec. 14 to 21 last year, showed 84 percent of Filipinos saying the Philippines should extend “a great deal/fair amount of trust” to the US. This was higher than the 79 percent recorded in March 2017.
US most trusted Philippines ally – Pulse Asia
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has remained the country most trusted by Filipinos, and Russia and China the least, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.

The poll, taken from Dec. 14 to 21 last year, showed 84 percent of Filipinos saying the Philippines should extend “a great deal/fair amount of trust” to the US. This was higher than the 79 percent recorded in March 2017.

The US was followed by Japan and Australia with trust ratings of 75 percent and 72 percent, respectively. Great Britain/United Kingdom obtained 57 percent.

Reacting to the survey result, Malacañang expressed optimism Filipinos’ attitude toward China would change if the latter shows sincerity in its dealing with the Philippines.

“It’s understandable for Filipinos to feel that way... Because we’ve been used to the (United) States being our ally, so we are more used to engaging with America. Perhaps as we go along and witness the sincerity of China with respect to agreements between the two countries, their views might change,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing yesterday.

Pressed why he thought a majority of poll respondents were distrustful of China despite President Duterte’s pro-Beijing statements, Panelo replied: “Not necessarily, it takes time for people to accept certain things that they are not used to.”

Meanwhile, in the case of Russia and China, most Filipinos say the Philippines should extend only “a little trust or no trust at all” to these countries at 54 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

Forty percent of Filipinos say the Philippines should not trust China too much.

The survey was conducted after the two-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Philippines, where both countries signed numerous deals, including a possible joint exploration in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

Duterte had said he would like to strengthen ties with China and Russia, two global powers with shaky relations with the US.

While Filipinos still trust the US most, respondents from Mindanao – Duterte’s bailiwick – have a less trusting attitude toward the country.

It was in Mindanao that the US got its lowest rating at 74 percent.

Russia, on the other hand, obtained its highest score in Mindanao at 54 percent.

Nearly or exactly the same percentages of Metro Manilans and Mindanawons say the Philippines should give China either “a great deal/a fair amount of trust” (49 percent to 50 percent) or “a little/no trust at all” (50 percent).

China and Russia in Pulse Asia’s March 2017 poll also got the highest distrust rating at 63 and 56 percent, respectively.

As for regional organizations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation got majority trust ratings at 82 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

Pulse Asia asked its 1,800 adult respondents nationwide the question: “Generally speaking, how much trust should the Philippines extend to (country/organization)?” – Alexis Romero

PULSE ASIA WEST PHILIPPINE SEA XI JINPING
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