Otso Diretso candidates lose Senate but wins Twitter

May 16, 2019 - 6:54 PM
Samira Gutoc speaking in microphone
Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc speaking in front of a microphone in Pangasinan during campaign season. (Facebook/SamiraSaSenado)

Twitter Philippines recognized senatorial aspirant and Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc as the most talked about candidate in the microblogging platform during the 2019 midterm elections.

From January 1 to May 13, 2019, Twitter recorded that candidates from the opposition garnered the most online conversations and mentions among Filipinos.

They are Gutoc, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay and former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada.

The ranking, according to Twitter, does not in any way reflect sentiments to the candidates.

Gutoc expressed her gratitude for the recognition in true millennial fashion, saying “Thankx Twitter ever.”

Gutoc is active on the microblogging platform, which is one of the most popular social media platforms among the youth.

She is also known to use millennial terms. In fact, she has taught herself how to use expressions such as “G,” “shookt,” “tea,” “yass queen,” “bae,” “receipts,” “lit” and “adulting,” to name a few.

Gutoc also knows how to use the platform to her advantage, where she regularly retweets or shares news items about her and callouts of her supporters.

It was also where she famously shot down broadcaster Jay Sonza for questioning her mental state and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin for giving her an unflattering remark after she criticized President Rodrigo Duterte.

Mock senatorial surveys conducted across higher educational institutions reveal that Gutoc is one of the most preferred candidates by college students, particularly middle-class young adults in the metropolis.

Her candidacy is considered remarkable by foreign media because of her decision to run in a largely Catholic country despite being a Muslim and the only female senatorial aspirant from the opposition.

Gutoc advocates for women and indigenous people’s rights, as well as the fast-tracking of the Marawi rehabilitation that was initially promised as a priority by the government.

She also advocates for anti-discrimination of LGBTQ members and for the protection of the ecosystem.

Opposition bets preferred by youth 

Opposition senatorial aspirants gained more support from the youth in this year’s midterm elections rather than the ones endorsed by the administration.

Apart from the mock senatorial surveys, some viral Facebook posts showed that millennials were dismayed at the result of Comelec’s partial unofficial tally count since it featured bets from PDP-Laban and Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Most of them have been involved in controversies, particularly Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla and Francis Tolentino, among others.

Facebook user Rexie Robles Tamayo, for instance, shared that the Filipino youth is angry since the results were similar to the polls three years ago, where most of the millennials preferred late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago against that of then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

A day after this year’s midterm elections, students and leaders from different progressive groups trooped to the Comelec head office to protest the irregularities and anomalies observed in the conducted polls.