Palace questions timing of survey results release on China’s West PH Sea ‘intrusion’
Malacañang on Tuesday questioned the timing of the release of the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed opposition by Filipinos on the government’s inaction on the continued aggression of China in the West Philippine Sea.
The results of the survey which conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), was released on Monday night, just a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the country.
The survey found that 84 percent of Filipinos said it was not right for the Philippines to simply let China build and fortify its military outposts in the disputed territories.
“We find the timing of the release of the results of the survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) last September 15-23 suspect considering that such was made public on the day of Chinese President Xi Jing Ping’s first state visit to the Philippines,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“This adds credence to the commonly-held belief that polling firms could be wittingly or unwittingly used for partisan purposes,” he added.
Panelo also claimed that the questionnaire used in the study was “flawed,” noting “how some questions were phrased to arrive at the results of the survey.”
“We consider the question skewed as it misleads the public to believe and suggests that the current government has not acted on China’s activities on the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea. This is far from the truth,” he insisted.
The Palace official noted that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte “has been consistent in its stance in protecting our territorial claims and maritime entitlements.”
“We, therefore, view the results with skepticism as the reliability of the data is in question,” he said.
The same survey also found that China still holds a negative impression among Filipinos as it was rated “poor” with -16 net trust.
Public trust in China has been positive in only nine out of 47 surveys since SWS first surveyed it in August 1994, SWS noted.
However, Malacañang stressed that unlike China, the United States and Japan are our traditional allies that is why they are expected to score higher level of trust.
“Our country’s renewed ties with our giant neighbor in the North provides us a welcome opportunity for the public to know and understand China better,” Panelo said.
“It does not happen overnight but we are confident that a more favorable public appreciation of China would happen in the future,” he added. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.