Survey: Filipinos don’t trust ‘frenemy’ China
China was also the top of mind response of the Filipinos for the countries considered as “not real friends” of the Philippines, with an overwhelming 83 percent. The poll, which had a sample size of 1,500 with 300 respondents each from the National Capital Region, North/Central Luzon, South Luzon/Bicol, the Visayas and Mindanao, saw the United States and Japan getting the highest net trust rating of +69 and +13, respectively. The United States and Japan were also ranked as the top two “real friends” of the Philippines while Indonesia came in second after China among its “not real friends.” Most of the Filipinos polled said the attempt of other countries to seize Philippine territory and resources was the number one threat that they were most concerned with. The respondents were also most concerned with the possibility of other countries declaring war or annexing the Philippines and the threats of terror attacks. A plurality of those polled said they were satisfied with the performance of the Aquino administration in protecting the country from any possible threats from China (45 percent satisfied, 22 percent dissatisfied). The opinion, however, on the correct track that should be taken by Manila in resolving the territorial row with Beijing was divided, with 47 percent going for the arbitration case before the United Nations and 53 percent saying the issue should be resolved diplomatically. The majority of the respondents (64 percent) expressed confidence that the United States would help the Philippines should the country get embroiled in an armed confrontation with China. They also said it was important for the country to boost its strategic partnership with Japan, which is also embroiled in a maritime dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands. At least 55 percent of the Filipinos polled also thought that Japan should be allowed to strengthen its military capabilities for defense purposes amid the tensions in the region. Those surveyed also supported the government’s pronouncement that it will pursue a strategic partnership with Vietnam—another claimant to the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea—with 52 percent of the respondents saying that would help secure freedom of navigation in the area while protecting our own territorial claims.