A recent survey in the Philippines showed that more than 50% of the Filipinos believe President Rodrigo Duterte's habit of swearing at foreign leaders was harming bilateral ties. However, his satisfaction rating remained at over 60% for the fourth quarter of the year, dipping only by 1% from the previous quarter.

Duterte has raised eyebrows in the past few months for using cuss words against US President Barack Obama, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, diplomats and even Pope Francis. Calling Obama "a son of a b****" also cost him his first meeting with his American counterpart.

In late October, the foul-mouthed Filipino leader vowed not to use cuss words ever because God had warned to kill him if he swore again. However, the promise lasted only for a couple of days, following which he began swearing again during public speeches and press briefings. He had hurled abuses on every person who criticised his ongoing war against drug trade.

The Philippines-based Social Weather Stations survey, published on Thursday (15 December) found that 51% of the 1,500 Filipinos polled agreed that his swearing "was harmful to the relations of the Philippines with the countries or institutions of those officials". Of the 51%, 27% said they strongly agreed with the statement, while 24% said they somewhat agreed.

About 33% of the respondents said they did not feel that Duterte's swearing was impacting international ties, while the remaining respondents were undecided. The survey was conducted between 3 and 6 December across the country.

Duterte remains a favourite among the people of Philippines, despite criticism over his murdering drug suspects. His net public satisfaction rating continued to be "very good" in the current quarter, with over 63% approval rating. The previous quarter's rating was over 64%.

The firebrand president also made it to the Forbes magazine's list of the 74 most powerful global personalities in 2016. He was ranked 70 in the annual rankings released on Wednesday (14 December).

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte
Over 51% of Filipinos believe Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's frequent swearing is harming international ties - File photo Reuters