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