President Duterte spends final day meeting foreign officials

Janvic Mateo, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
President Duterte spends final day meeting foreign officials
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayasi were scheduled to call on Duterte at the Villamor Air Base yesterday.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte spent his last full day as chief executive meeting with key officials of foreign governments and his political allies in PDP-Laban.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayasi were scheduled to call on Duterte at the Villamor Air Base yesterday.

They are in the country to attend the inauguration of Duterte’s successor, president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Details of the topics discussed during the meetings were not immediately available.

Duterte was also expected to meet with fellow members of PDP-Laban during a thanksgiving event in Makati City.

Duterte is the chairman of the party, which supported the candidacy of Marcos Jr. The President, however, did not support any presidential candidate, saying it might raise suspicions that he was using state resources to promote politicians.

Before the inauguration of Marcos, Duterte will meet with his successor in Malacañang, a tradition that symbolizes the peaceful turnover of leadership. He will be given departure honors before leaving the Palace.

Details of Duterte’s activities after the inauguration ceremony have not been released. In his recent speeches, the outgoing President said he would return to his hometown Davao City after retiring from politics.

He has also announced a plan to teach criminal law procedure at a local police academy in Davao City.

High approval rating

Duterte has maintained high approval ratings throughout his term which ends today, data released by Pulse Asia showed.

On Tuesday, the survey firm released a summary of the President’s performance ratings from September 2016, the first that was taken since he assumed office, until March 2022.

The most recent survey, conducted from March 17 to 22, showed that 73 percent of the respondents approved of Duterte’s performance as president.

Eight percent said they disapprove, while 19 percent were undecided.

In September 2016, Duterte obtained an approval rating of 86 percent and disapproval rating of three percent, with 11 percent undecided.

The number of those who approved of his performance rose to as high as 91 percent in September and November 2020.

It dipped to 64 percent, his lowest, in September 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duterte’s disapproval rating, meanwhile, also reached its highest in September 2021 at 13 percent. He obtained his lowest – three percent – four times during his term: September 2016, June 2018, June 2019 and November 2020.

Meanwhile, Social Weather Stations (SWS) has yet to release data on its approval ratings of government officials for this year.

The most recent approval ratings it released, conducted in December, showed that 75 percent of the respondents were satisfied with Duterte’s performance.

‘Greatest of all time’

For Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, Duterte is the GOAT – greatest of all time – leader of the country and gave assurance that Filipinos would miss him when he has stepped down from office.

“I just want to tell him that he is my GOAT President,” Dela Rosa said.

On the 75-percent approval rating Duterte got based on the Publicus Asia survey, the senator said: “Well, I expected that. Knowing the President, from what we have seen, his accomplishments, his performance as Chief Executive of this country, we can really see that the people are very satisfied with what he is doing. So, I expected that he will exit Malacañang on June 30 with a very high approval rating that he carries and that cannot be matched.”

Dela Rosa, a retired police general who was Duterte’s first Philippine National Police chief, said he believes there is no other leader, even in the future, who can match the satisfaction rating enjoyed by the outgoing Chief Executive.

“I am happy that he can rest given his age. He should focus on himself,” he said, adding, “I am sad because I will miss, not only me but the whole country of the Philippines, will miss his brand of leadership, which was characterized by decisiveness and being very frank.”


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