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Filipinos keep faith in Duterte amid pandemic woes

Philippine president's popularity intact despite record unemployment and hunger

President Rodrigo Duterte has been able to grow his popularity during the Philippines' devastating COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippines)

MANILA -- This will be the worst year for Jose Gaw's 35-year-old furniture business. His shop was shut for three months and has struggled since reopening in the middle of a recession. Gaw's outlook may have deteriorated -- he is unsure how soon he can recover -- but his trust in President Rodrigo Duterte has not.

"If others were in President Duterte's shoes, the situation could have been much worse," Gaw, 75, told Nikkei Asia. "We trust the president because he is honest. Remember when he returned a Rolex given by a tycoon? That alone makes him trustworthy."

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