Filipinos satisfied with Duterte's drug war, but want suspects alive - SWS

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Amid international criticism on the Philippines' bloody drug war, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed eight in 10 Filipinos are "satisfied" with President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.

Of 1,200 adults interviewed for the nationwide survey, 84 percent said they are satisfied with the government's crackdown on illegal drugs. Only eight percent said they are dissatisfied, while the rest are undecided.

The results yielded an "excellent" net satisfaction rating of +76. SWS classifies ratings over +70 percent as "excellent."

However, 71 percent of the respondents said it is "very important" for drug suspects to be caught alive.

Also read: Drug war critics urge priority on rehab and harm-reduction to curb drug abuse

Some 83 percent of respondents also said the government's crackdown on illegal drugs does not discriminate by social classes.

The poll was conducted September 24-27 and has a margin of error of ±3 percent. The results were first published on BusinessWorld Friday.

The same Third Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey also showed Duterte bagging a "very good" satisfaction rating, gaining the approval of 76 percent of Filipino respondents.

The survey results validate Duterte's "landslide victory in the May elections based on his campaign pledge to eliminate the drug menace," Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement Friday.

Andanar added the government is putting up more rehabilitation centers to accommodate over 730,000 drug surrenderees.

Also read: Sociologist: Support for Duterte is personal

Bloody drug war

Official Philippine National Police data show at least 1,523 suspects were killed in anti-drug police operations from July 1 to October 7.

Over 26,000 individuals have been arrested.

The killings have drawn global attention and condemnation from the world's most powerful leaders, such as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Also read: Duterte invites U.N., E.U. and rapporteurs to investigate alleged summary killings

The Duterte administration has repeatedly denied alleged extrajudicial killings, which is being investigated by the Senate.

"We reiterate: The Duterte administration does not condone summary execution or extrajudicial killing of drug suspects," Andanar said. "The Philippine National Police is investigating all cases of extrajudicial killings and will prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law."

Critics have also pointed out that only the poor and small time drug users have fallen targets to the government's war on drugs.

But the President said it's because they are "easy targets" as compared to wealthy suspects who can easily fly out of the country. The poor also outnumber the rich, Duterte explained.