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Duterte too popular to become 'lame duck' president - solons.

By Ellson Quismorio

House Majority members believe that President Rodrigo Duterte would one-up his predecessors but not having "lame duck" phase.

Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Barbers, and Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda all pointed to Duterte's continuously soaring popularity as a strong argument for their claim, especially since the Chief Executive has already entered the second half of his six-year term.

"I think there will be no lame duck phase in his term," said Pimentel, who is a Deputy Speaker in the current 18th Congress.

A lame duck president is basically a president whose authority doesn't hold as much sway anymore because he or she is close to stepping down. At this point, the attention of the bureaucrats will have shifted to the incoming administration.

"We have seen the surveys and he has maintained his immense popularity through years. I think it will be maintained until the end of his term," Pimentel said.

The results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that Duterte posted a record-high 80 percent gross satisfaction rating for the second quarter of 2019, or three full years after he assumed the Palace seat.

Traditionally, Philippine presidents' popularity fall off after the first couple of years. But in the 74-year-old Duterte's case, the numbers are still climbing.

"In spite of the many issues hurled against him, he has maintained high ratings. It's a phenomenon that is unprecedented among presidents' ratings. Maybe it's because of his mass appeal," Pimentel said of the populist Duterte.

According to Barbers, the President isn't merely relying on his charisma to remain on the public's good side; he is also earning the adulation through his performance.

"Duterte is doing what needs to be done in reforming our country and our government t institutions. The Pinoys seem to agree with what he is doing, thus the high ratings," he said.

"I think by sticking to his promise of a drug-free society and corrupt-free government, he will defy the notion that he will have a lame duck phase," said Barbers, who served as Committee on Dangerous Drugs chairman during the previous 18th Congress.

For Salceda, the high survey figures prove one thing--Filipinos are totally behind "Tatay Digong,"

"It's the people - they want him to succeed by totally supporting him," he said.

President Duterte will step down from Malacanang in 2022.



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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jul 25, 2019
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