The Core of Democracy

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Democracy is a type of government ruled by the majority since the supreme power is vested in its people. In formal definition, it is exercised by them through elections which everyone is given the right to choose the leaders of the country. In this tweet, Senator Joel Villanueva does not only see the petals of democracy but saw the sepal which holds the absolute significance of how a democratic country should be in his years in public office. He sees democracy in a way in which people can be able to stand for what is right and oppose what is vividly unrighteous and oppresses individual privileges and rights. However, the right to express was gradually being compromised due to President Duterte’s implied actions of dictatorship. The current administration dictates who should speak and should not, who is right and is wrong, who goes to jail and free. It is serious matter in which every Filipino, an official or not, should be shaken about because the democracy that the ancestors have fought would be lost in every Filipino’s eyes.

This tweet from Senator Villanueva tackles multiple meanings but in a simple and concise attack. The use of the phrase “ vibrant opposition” was somewhat new and intriguing .However, it still doesn’t suffice the boldness of the tweet. There lies a strong argument in the statement but he chose to express it into a mellow and safe way to give his point. His experience on public service would give credibility on his insights, but not effectively to its rhetorical audience. It was evident since the number of either shares, likes, or retweets was low compared to a number of 29,100 followers. What is missing is the capability of the statement to create a response, to tingle a certain spark of argument and not to play safe. Adding examples from his experiences would make his tweet more reliable and appealing for such.

If ever the tweet was published offline, its persuasive quality will somewhat change depending on how the rhetorical audience would absorb and relate to it. The persuasive quality of the post will be lesser since in newspapers and magazines, there are many articles aligned in one page and the audience often look only at the articles with strong titles and usage of words that can really persuade them to read about it, thus this post, if published offline, will have to compete with other articles of the newspaper or magazine making it less visible to its audience and having a low persuasive quality. On twitter, the post looked so plain and the audience reading offline might as well exclude the fact that he is in public office for 20 years since Filipinos today look on how productive and successful the politicians are based on their projects and actions done in the government and how it greatly affects or impact the society as a whole not by the longevity of their public service.

Therefore, Senator Joel Villanueva should be bold enough to uncover the underneath meaning of his statement with power and conviction in order for readers to be clarified and to be instilled that such timely issue need a discourse which could affect the lives of many Filipinos.

Prepared by Jessah Jen Garbino, Samantha Villacorta, and Kyla Villanueva

 

References:

Change through 240 words or less

Hazing.

A dilemma experienced by the Filipino youth.

A violent, inhumane test of courage and loyalty as a form of a pledge to a fraternity. Where hundreds of students, particularly college students, are harassed, abused and humiliated in order for them to gain acceptance into a popular group on campus. While college hazing is considered as a norm, more and more students are killed or injured, which is alarming because brotherhood, as we all know, should emphasize love and support rather than abuse and maltreatment. And it is dreadful that such activity is still present as of today. That it still increases the number of young lives taken away inhumanely.

haze soul sister

“No one deserves to die from hazing”

Senator Migz Zubiri used social media platforms to show his lament to Horacio Castillo III, a student of UST, who passed away because of hazing. The death of the student sparked the flames in Zubiri to speak up about the issue arising in our country; he felt the need to bring this topic to the senatorial board because he knew that the members of the senatorial board have the power to change this tradition with their decision and commands. As said in the video, Sen. Zubiri proposed a new Law that prohibits all acts linked to hazing and if the members of the board agree to this, with the help of Sen. Zubiri’s passionate speech, then they could easily end the suffering of aspiring youths who want to be part of a brotherhood. ‘To end this violent and senseless crime’, as Zubiri would say.Screenshot (6)

Zubiri’s words really hit deep within the conscience of the people, because his words have depth in them. Saying that “So much senseless deaths. My dearest colleagues, so much wasted youth” really speaks volumes about the impact that hazing brings to our country. These words really do pack a punch that shakes us back to reality, the cruel reality.

Moreover, using Twitter to reach more audience by linking his post from Facebook, Zubiri was able to extend his views and was able to impart knowledge about the topic. This can be of great help as more people would be knowledgeable about how hazing is alarming and could encourage them to practice their rights as concerned citizens, this could be in means of rally or petitions to stop hazing. Especially in the modern world where people are more active in the virtual world rather than in reality, they tend to gain more knowledge through the use of the internet and posts on social media.

But, to be blunt, Social Media can be of disadvantage at times; however, it could be advantageous in the sense that a greater audience could be reached, particularly Filipinos, who are greatly linked to technology compared to offline media such as magazines and newspapers. Filipinos still choose to be updated through the use of different social media platforms as it is more convenient. Nevertheless, the use of different media wouldn’t change the persuasive quality of the article. However, the reach to its audience and the ability to increase transformed and persuaded individuals would because, as what was stated, people rely more on social media than offline media.

 

Karl Sorenio

Chiara Ricablanca

Infrastructures to Mitigate Inflation Rate: Yay or Nay?

By: Glannerry Kate Salarza and Reyban Sabordo

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According to the tweet of Senator JV Ejercito, it is but visible that he is making a huge effort in pushing through the idea of improving infrastructures, for he affirms to the thought that it would be of great solution to mitigate inflation.

But how will spending in infrastructure impact inflation?

In a short span of time, it will increase inflation, however, in the long run, it will cause deflation, ceteris paribus.

For a short while, when government spends heavily on infrastructure they will engage many private institutions and state-owned companies to do the projects. Through multiplier effects, the income they receive as a result of doing the projects, when they spend it will be larger than the actual amount. Multiplier effects says that, for example the infrastructure projects cause 1 Billion and 10 companies receive 100 million each as a result of completing the projects. When they spend 100 million, amount spend could be higher, says 200 million instead of 100 million. Thus, multiplier coefficient is 2.

On the flip side, observing the long run process, it will cause price level to fall or deflation. Spending on infrastructure would make the economy more efficient (e.i.: higher private investments, faster and cheaper transportation etc.) and thus, it will push the Aggregate Supply curve to the right. Hence, overall price level would fall while national output increases.

With that being said, we believe that every decision is always a matter of weighing two things carefully. Look even into the smallest details and consider possibilities, then, it’s for you to choose.

Again, the question is, yay or nay?

 

References:

Tweet photo taken at https://twitter.com/jvejercito/status/1045214946101932032

#OmPOEngPH: A Senator Grace Poe Tweet Analysis

By: Donovan Adams Aguilo, Erika Xim Paola Santos and Marvin John Saijo

Living in a free country, we subconsciously found ourselves on the thread of flooding opinions and comments especially in different social media platforms. Everyone has something to say- many will like your comment if it’s something good (for them) and many will bash you to hell if otherwise. Nevertheless, we tried to react on this certain tweet of Senator Grace Poe on her twitter account @SenGracePoe of her commentary regarding the agricultural problem left after the wrath of Typhoon Ompong in the country.

Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, adopted daughter of actors Susan Roces and Fernando Poe, Jr, is a senator,  businesswoman and a philanthropist. She served as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board from 2010 to 2012 and in the Philippine Senate since 2013. She also ran as presidential candidate during the 2016 elections but was overthrown by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. She authored bills on Film Tourism, Free Lunch Program and the Freedom of Information Act

In line with this, to comprehensively analyze the tweet, we tried to carefully give our reactions on different categories. Here’s the tweet from Senator Poe published September 15.

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Instigating a Rhetorical Discourse

The exigence present in this situation is that of the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) which caused 14-billion peso damage to agricultural areas specifically around Central Luzon. Due to the terrible cost, Senator Grace Poe fears that the food supply of the country will hit a critical level and may cause an increase in the prices of agricultural commodities; hence, she also dreads that the country will be experiencing hunger. The senator tries to point out to the readers that substantial financial aid for these areas in terms of rehabilitating the fields, roads, and irrigation will mitigate the disaster in the economic inconsistencies of the country. Moreover, she tried to logically present the situation by vividly pointing out the future events.

Content Check

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council presented the statistics of the damage caused by Typhoon Ompong to agricultural areas in Northern and Central Luzon which reached up to 14 billion pesos and the breakdown is as follows: Rice – P8.96 billion, Corn – P4.49 billion, High value commercial crops – P788 million, Livestock and poultry – P5.5 million,  Agriculture infrastructure – P82 million.

These important numbers were precisely not included in the tweet neither a certain article was attached to it nor records from the Department of Agriculture. How can we lend a help if Sen. Poe doesn’t give us substantial matters regarding the onslaught of the typhoon? Some important facts are lacking.

Target Audience: Public? Fellow Senators? Or herself?

The tweet’s target audience is quite unclear.  Is it directed to the farmers? Department of Agriculture? Private organizations? The senators? Or she’s just reminding herself?

Going into Slippery Slope Argument- Logically Fallacious

Kapag di sila nakapagtanim agad, magugutom ang ating bansa . . . (masyadong advance mag-isip?). By definition, Slippery Slope Logical Fallacy is a consequentialist logical device in which someone asserts that a small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect. Senator Poe here tries to warn the readers by citing the worst case scenario for the country if the agricultural problem will not be worked out immediately. For us, though its fallacious in nature, it’s quite a good read at least we can grasp the bigger picture of what will happen.

Ability of the medium

The tweet created 149 replies, 14 retweets, and 84 likes (as of the time this article was made). Compared to other denominations of retweets and likes coming from other Twitter users (esp. politicians), this seems to have a short reach – also considering the fact that Senator Grace Poe has 110,000 followers and has 129 accounts being followed. This does not improve the credibility of the tweet because after all it failed to amass a huge number of responses from the people even so if it was published through various offline means. However, the use of the unified hash tag (#OmpongPH) greatly improves the dissemination aspect of the tweet.

Encouraging Power

It is through Grace Poe’s tweets which captured news agencies to broadcast her advocacy to give a quick-release of calamity funds for the affected agricultural areas of Typhoon Ompong. This also led the senator to appeal to the government to provide seed subsidy to farmers in Northern Luzon and pushed to release 16.9 billion to aid the victims. However, if we try to see the view of the public, many were not even moved that they tried to lash out at the tweet by telling the senator to help and stop sitting pretty in senate. The tweet obviously tapped the government sector but it failed to call for public unity.

Another Pointless Political Agenda

Technically, for someone who is running for a senatorial slate, this tweet leaves quite a good impression to the public. The creation of laws is predominantly the job of the senators and other legislative body.  Then, Senator Poe tweeted: Tulungan natin ang Cagayan, Ilocos, at Cordillera . . . To whom does senator refer this to? To the public? Then what can the public do in the case of the tweeted “Kailangan ang rehabilitasyon ng mga taniman, daan, at irigasyon.” Isn’t it the job of these people in the government? Does that statement mean the government is taking a blind eye or too lazy to act? If not, why did Senator Poe calls action for her FELLOW senators? For us, it’s just another vague provocation trying to epitomize a good figure of a senator or how a politician should come out “better” to other politicians.

In the interim, we would like to quote Thomas Hardy, “My opinion is that the poet should express the emotion of all the ages and the thought of his own.” Amidst the flood of opinions on social media we should remain critical and vigilant for issues that affect not just us but our country as well. Remember: your mouth can spit venom but more importantly, your words have power that can inspire the nation.

Disclaimer: The authors’ views and opinions do not necessarily intend to attack the subject politician personally, and were only made based on the chosen social media statement. Furthermore, the intentions of the authors were solely made for the purpose of critical analysis and biases and/or political affiliations were strongly discouraged during the critiquing and commenting process of the assigned task.

References

ABS-CBN News. (2018, September 17). Ompong causes P14-B damage to agriculture, says Piñol. Retrieved from ABS-CBN.com: https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/09/17/18/ompong-causes-p14-b-damage-to-agriculture-says-piol

Gonzales, C. (2018, September 17). Poe calls for seed subsidy for farmers affected by Typhoon “Ompong”. Retrieved from Inquirer.net: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1033177/poe-calls-for-seed-subsidy-for-farmers-affected-by-typhoon-ompong

Rappler. (2018, September 16). IN PHOTOS: The wrath of Typhoon Ompong. Retrieved from Rappler.com: https://www.rappler.com/nation/212089-in-photos-the-wrath-of-typhoon-ompong

Tomacruz, S. (2018, September 18). Agricultural losses from Typhoon Ompong hits P14 billion. Retrieved from Rappler.com: https://www.rappler.com/business/212272-typhoon-ompong-agricultural-damage-september-18-2018

 

Senator Bam Aquino on Sen. Trillanes’ Amnesty Nullification

 

 

One of the recent political drama 42862337_313596702525629_4036556306553765888_nthat circulated around the media and caused the netizens, involving some politicians with official social media accounts to take sides is the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by the previous administration being revoked by the President of the Philippines. Last August 31, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 572, declaring the amnesty granted for Trillanes as “void ab initio” or void from the beginning because of his failure to comply with the necessary and minimum requirements such as the following: 1) he never admitted his guilt, 2) the copy of his application of amnesty could not be found. This happening triggered the need of some politician siding with Trillanes, such as Senator Bam Aquino to tweet the statement seen above. As we scroll up to the reply section of the said tweet or thread, we can conclude that the opinions of the netizens, or the Filipino people concerned about this matter vary. Some wished well for Senator Trillanes while others stated that it is only necessary for Senator Trillanes to be jailed again as a form of a ‘little sacrifice’ to make this country better

Senator Bam’s tweet seemed to be casual and personal at first, but if you come to think of it, it is more than just saying Sen. Trillanes is at ease despite everything that is happening. Sen. Aquino’s particular statement aims to send a warning not only to his co-minority leaders but also to those that are against this administration. The mere fact that the present administration can jail a state leader sends a message to every Filipino that no one can be exempted to what this administration; especially the president is up to. This however was not properly accepted by some netizens and sent bad or rather opposing tweets to the Senator’s statement. This only shows how Twitter and other social media platforms are not very suitable for rhetoric discourse especially one with a public figure involved. When venting out ideas and emotions on Twitter, there is no doubt that some would throw the “dilawan” card to anyone that is opposing the administration’s actions. And thus invalidates their stands because of throwing Ad Hominem to the person or persons involved. Also, given that you could only type 280 characters, it is very hard to sum up ideas and discussions given that limited number.

As of the moment, this tweet from Sen. Aquino has reached a total of only 41 retweets and 276 likes. However, this reach does not necessarily equate to the credibility of the speaker. Being a senator who has passed bills that are a big help to every Filipino, the actions that the senator have done weighs more than the number of retweets and likes. The only thing that is reflected by the reach of a particular post is the number of people that has seen and read the post. Moreover,  if the tweet was published in an offline media such as newspaper and magazines, the persuasiveness of the statement of the Senator might change given that there is no word count and he could have expressed his sentiments in a more formal manner. When it comes to the audiences, however, it is expected that there will be changes given that offline media reaches a different range of readers. To be specific, in Twitter, or any social media platform, everyone could, and by everyone, all ages, from the generation of Baby Boomers up to the Generation Z, can access or read the tweet given that the profile is public.

References:

Maglinong, D. (2018, Sep 30). Explained: The story and history behind Sen Trillanes’ amnesty revocation. Retrieved from http://www.interaksyon.com/explained-the-story-and-history-behind-sen-antonio-trillanes-amnesty-revocation/

Basketball and Politics: What the Philippines’ 3rd most powerful man has to say.

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Filipinos are crazy about basketball and their politicians. In some ways, Filipinos view basketball and their politicians as one subject of interest. Unlike the politics in the United States, where people would follow politicians based on their views on a particular issue, some Filipinos would follow the politician who is the most popular, whoever is the most controversial, or whoever gets the most media coverage, same can be said for basketball. Although politics is NOT basketball. There would always be times when both mix with one another. It can be seen in the tweet posted by our very own Senate President.

Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, a former TV co-host and also the current Senate President of the Philippines, made a tweet about the controversial basketball game played by the Philippines and Australia in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers last July which erupted to a massive free-for-all after an incident involving a Filipino and Australian player.

We thought that he was trying to capture the hearts of each and every one of us. He was trying to convince us that what the players did was right. He was trying to address us, Filipinos, and the entire basketball community that what the Filipino players did was not wrong. He was trying to defend the Filipino players who fought for a fellow Filipino because they believed that they had quite enough of the bullying they got from the Aussies and the officials of the game.

Although the tweet came from the official Twitter page of the Senate President, we don’t think that the number of likes, shares, or retweets make the post credible. The post has no credibility because, first of all, the tweet was made by a politician and a former entertainer who has no proper knowledge or lacks the proper knowledge in things related to the event discussed.

The persuasive quality of the post would not change even if it was posted in an offline medium because the post lacks the proper credibility for it to really persuade its intended audience and the post does not have the proper structure to be considered as a proper sentence, which is sometimes needed to determine whether the tone of a post is serious or should be viewed in a satirical way.

 

Estil, Mark Angelo

Jamera, Cedric

Nobleza, Angelo Raphael

Senator Nancy Binay on Easing The Burden of Inflation

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Inflation is a phenomenon which happens world wide. It causes many problems to countries all over the world. Inflation is the rise in the general level of prices. When inflation occurs, each ringgit of income will buy fewer goods and services than before. Inflation will reduce the “purchasing power” of money. As a result Senator Nancy Binay tweeted “we have to strengthen our initiatives to ease the burden of inflation including the provision of financial assistance to poor families and discounts to the transport sector.”

In the tweet of Senator Nancy Binay, the problem of the rise in inflation rate and it’s effects spurred the writing of the commentary. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), inflation climbed to another 9-year high, hitting 6.4% in August. This is also the fastest since March 2009. This statement is directed to the government of the Philippines and to every sector that plays a part in serving the people. This serves as a call to those who are in the position and have the capabilities to provide help for the poor families who are the ones that are greatly affected by inflation. At times like this, the people depend on the government. We expect them to do something they should do. Something they have pledged and taken an oath for which is to attend to the needs of the citizens, to serve the people. The government is a strong force that plays a big role in terms of economic issues and once they put into action what is expected of them, they can definitely be mediators of change.

The tweet of Senator Nancy Binay will not be that effective if there are negative replies on the tweet which when read by the audience, can affect their decisions. The fact that the target audience of this post are the people in the government who has numerous encounters with Senator Binay and knows about her political history and what she does can also be a constraint in this rhetorical discourse. They will probably not be persuaded if they see that she is not actively participating in talks about inflation issues and is not actually making a move on “easing the burdens” of inflation herself. In addition, The number of likes and retweets does not make the commentary or post more credible, no matter how many it is. After all, what Senator Nancy Binay said is just her stand on the issue. Also, twitter is just a platform to express one’s opinions and thoughts and it does not guarantee the credibility of the statements. If the tweet was published offline in traditional media (newspapers, magazine etc.), its persuasive qualities would not change because it still has the same ideas and content in it. It also would not be able to persuade more people since the audience would still be the same people, those who can be influenced or affected by what Senator Nancy Binay said.

Moreover, this particular tweet of Nancy Binay on the issue of inflation rate is effective and can create a rhetorical situation and discourse. We can say that although Senator Binay was able to target her audience, there are still constraints on her tweet which could affect their decisions.
Sources: https://www.rappler.com/business/211176-inflation-rate-philippines-august-2018
https://www.twitter.com/senatornancybinay

Annjie Gancita
April Magbanua

Gatchalian On Pe-de-ralismo

By: Joshua Steven C. Rose and Socorro Bay H. Sarabia

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Most public figures of today leave impacts on our society not only because of their projects or achievements but also because of their social media posts. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, a former award-winning mayor and congressman of Valenzuela City who won a seat in the Senate during the May 2016 elections, is one of the public figures in the Philippines who extends his influence through social media and is a very active Twitter user. In this article, the manner and approach in which the senator presents and expresses his particular post or Tweet shall be analyzed and discussed together with its possible implications.

Reading Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s tweet, we can infer that he is throwing shade to Mocha Uson using the line “pe-de-ralismo…Yon hindi bastos version”. We can analyze this tweet using two aspects: the Superiority Theory of Humor and the actual structure of the tweet.

Firstly, we all know that Mocha Uson was a sex blogger before she became PCOO Assistant. Recently, she made a vlog explaining federalism in a sexual manner which again, made an issue. She was bashed and thrown shade by people including Senator Gatchalian. Because of this, we can say that Gatchalian’s tweet implicitly bears the Superiority Theory of Humor by Plato and Aristotle. (Implicit because the tweet was not aggressive). This theory states that superiority results “from the disparagement of another person or of one’s own past blunders or foolishness” (Martin, 1998). In our opinion, sees himself as superior to Mocha Uson therefore he uses disparagement humor to address the issue on Uson’s vlog. We think that he is trying to let the masses know that government officials actually studies federalism and are far more than one’s foolishness.

Secondly, we can see that Senator Gatchalian’s tweet was composed in Taglish (Tagalog and English). Considering this, we can infer that he is appealing to the masses while maintaining an intellectual aura. Moreover, as far as his tweets are concerned, we can say that his tweet on this issue was effective and can induce a discourse and possibly a rhetorical situation in the future.

By analyzing the particular tweet, we can conclude that Senator Win Gatchalian sends a subtle, sneering expression of disdain towards Mocha Uson. Superiority Theory of Humor was used as an approach to present his message and the structure of the Tweet was in Taglish form which also made the message strongly expressed all while maintaining an intellectual vibe.