Despite strong satisfaction with the way democracy is working, five in 10 Filipinos are still open to an autocratic form of government, a global Pew Research Center survey found.
According to Pew Research, 50 percent of Filipinos favor autocracy, bucking a global trend in which only around three in 10 people support a system with a strong leader who can make decisions without interference from parliament or the courts.
Almost half of the Filipinos polled think that rule by a strong leader will be bad, and of this figure 21 percent opine that such as system will be “very bad.”
“In Asia, 55% of Indians, 52% of Indonesians and 50% of Filipinos favor autocracy. Such support is particularly intense in India, where 27% very strongly back a strong leader,” Pew said in a report released this week.
One factor that could determine support for military government is education, according to Pew.
Although lower than the support for autocracy, 47 percent among the less educated in the Philippines think that a military government will be good for the country, in contrast to around 56 percent who say that a system run by generals will be bad. In contrast, 37 percent of those surveyed with more education support an administration run by generals.
“Particularly strong backing for military rule also exists among the less educated in Vietnam (76%), Nigeria (57%), Kenya (49%) and the Philippines (47%),” Pew said.
Mindanao, the second largest island in the country home to around 22 million Filipinos, is currently under martial law as security forces continue to battle a small band of Islamic State-inspired militants still occupying a small area of Marawi City which has been under siege since May.
President Rodrigo Duterte said martial law is needed to completely quash the threat posed by Islamist militants who tried to establish a local province of ISIS in the region. Critics, however, contended that military rule would result in an erosion of civil liberties and commission of human rights violations.
Views on technocracy, democracy
Countries in Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, also see the merit of a government ruled by experts or technocracy, according to the polling agency.
Sixty-two percent of Filipinos think that a government run by experts will be good while only 34 percent say otherwise.