Robredo, Marcos dominate online sphere during COC filing week —report

October 29, 2021 - 1:28 PM
Leni Robredo and Bongbong Marcos
Vice President Leni Robredo announces her candidacy for president, in Quezon City, October 7, 2021 and former senator Bongbong Marcos Jr. photographed in this picture from his Facebook on Sept. 29, 2020. (Photos from Reuters/Lisa Marie David and Facebook/Bongbong Marcos)

Among the presidential bets of the 2022 national elections, only Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. dominated the online sphere during the week of the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy.

A report by a strategic communications firm said that out of the seven candidates whose intention to run made an impact on social media and news sites, the conversations centered on the two aspirants from Oct. 1 to 8, 2021.

ALPAS Consultancy noted that Robredo had a total of 44,233 mentions across Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube and news websites on that week, while Marcos had a total of 12,707 mentions on the same platforms.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, more commonly known as Moreno, came in third with 3,170 mentions while Sen. Manny Pacquiao followed with 1,514 mentions.

Sen. Ping Lacson earned 839 mentions, while Sen. Bato dela Rosa had 635 mentions.

Labor leader Leody de Guzman had the least volume of mentions at 288.

Online Trends Presidential Bets_1
Screengrab from Dinggin: Halaan 2022 Part 1: How Online Media Shaped First Impressions of Seven Presidential Hopefuls by ALPAS Consultancy.

The firm said that for the study, it monitored public posts mentioning the candidates on Facebook pages, Twitter, YouTube and news sites within the Philippines during the week of COC filing.

Sentiments were culled from 8,400 randomly selected comments from Facebook page posts, with an even distribution across the seven candidates. The sample size is 1,200 comments per candidate. Data has a +/- 2% margin of error at 95% confidence level.

Personal Facebook posts, conversations on messaging apps and posts on TikTok were not included.

The firm observed that based on the figures, Robredo “had more than twice as many mentions as all her competitors combined.”

However, a “disproportionate amount” of the mentions were from Twitter in which there are only 8% registered voters, according to Pulse Asia.

“When compared with the distribution of mentions across all other online platforms, Twitter was disproportionately vocal about Robredo’s presidential bid,” the firm said in its study.

The microblogging platform accounted for 90% of all the online mentions, it noted.

Robredo was mentioned almost four times as much as Marcos  The former earned 42,325 mentions while the latter garnered 11,025 mentions.

The figures on Facebook “were much more proportionate” but it was still dominated by the two candidates.

The firm monitored 110 Facebook pages of which almost 70% were social media arms of established media outlets while 30% were from various viral news or personality pages.

Robredo earned 1,000 Facebook mentions while Marcos had 766 mentions.

Graphic from Dinggin: Halaan 2022 Part 1: How Online Media Shaped First Impressions of Seven Presidential Hopefuls by ALPAS Consultancy.

Robredo and Marcos also lead the tally of online news mentions compared to their fellow presidential hopefuls.

The vice president has a total of 542 mentions while the former senator earned 289 mentions.

Robredo’s presidential bid was the most speculated and she held two major press conferences towards the end of the week of the COC filing.

One was when the vice president officially announced her candidacy and the other was when she introduced her running mate and answered questions about her campaign plans.

On YouTube, however, it was Marcos who dominated the platform with 627 mentions while Robredo had 366.

The firm noted that Filipinos “were least vocal” about the presidential candidates on the video-sharing platform.

It said that Marcos was the most active candidate on the platform with frequent video uploads on his account every month.

His subscriber and view counts also rose in October, from gaining less than 10,000 new subscribers weekly to gaining 131,000 new subscribers on the week of September 27 to October 4.

The firm also said that it was Robredo and Marcos who had the “highest positive sentiments” based on comments of posts from Facebook pages.

It analyzed and sentiment-tagged 1,200 randomly selected comments per candidate to compare online impressions and noted that Robredo had 46.00% positive sentiments while Marcos earned 45.00% positive sentiments.

“Each candidate had their share of supporters and critics, with Facebook users actively expressing who they’re inclined to vote for in the upcoming election under all posts related to the filing of candidacies,” the firm said.

Graphic from Dinggin: Halaan 2022 Part 1: How Online Media Shaped First Impressions of Seven Presidential Hopefuls by ALPAS Consultancy.

On Robredo 

The firm concluded that the volume of mentions for the vice president was the highest among all the presidential candidates. The comment sentiments were also more positive.

Around 47% of the interaction on Facebook page posts about Robredo were laughing reactions while 51% were either “love” or “like” reactions.

The positive sentiments came from her vocal supporters who have been hoping for her presidential candidacy and those who were moved by her speech on building a strong opposition against authoritarian rule.

The negative mentions, on the other hand, came from Marcos and Duterte supporters, who the firm said were “unimpressed” by the vice-president’s achievements or those who believe that it was Marcos who should’ve won in the 2016 vice presidential race.

On Marcos 

Marcos has the second-highest reach when it comes to online mentions and engagements, according to the firm.

Posts about him also had some of the most positive interactions with Facebook audiences.

The firm noted that many of his supporters believe that the country was supposedly economically thriving under his father’s Martial Law and that the Aquinos, as well as other presidents since then, were only serving the “elites in society.”

Lots of them are were also hopeful of a Marcos-Duterte ticket since both have the same strongman impression, according to the report. Duterte refers to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Some of the supporters of Marcos believe he speaks well and is loyal to his family.

On the other hand, those who are against the former senator’s presidential bid believe that his win would erase memories of recognized human rights violations during Martial Law. Others also claim that he has “done nothing significant” during his term as solon.