Authors: Jynea Baldevarona
Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the impact of the unique features of President Rodrigo Duterte’s public statements on issues that made controversy during the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections: Papal visit in the Philippines that caused “traffic” in 2015, West Philippine Sea Dispute, Rape Joke Issue, Contractualization or Endo, and War on Drugs, Crime and Corruption. Anchoring it to Agenda-Setting Theory, Medium Theory, and Uses and Gratifications Theory which overseen the part of the sender, message, and the receiver. The assessment of the impact was done through itsprocedure, overloading, understanding, analyzing accuracy, timeliness, underloading, barriers,distortion and gatekeeping communication indicators. Findings of the study showed that the Internet (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.) became an underlying structure for democracy through the audience interaction with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s public statements, tweets of the audiences with the hashtags, and the dissemination and presentation of the information by the media.
Keywords: political communication, use of new media, elections, Twitter