The heat was on not only in Mindanao but also in the online world as Filipinos elsewhere in the world took to Twitter during the historic presidential debate Sunday.
Over 1.3 million tweets were generated during the live election debate held in Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City, the first of a series, organized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in cooperation with Inquirer and GMA-7.
Netizens’ participation in the debate pushed #PiliPinasDebates2016, the official hashtag picked by Comelec, to Twitter’s number one trending topic not only in the Philippines, but also worldwide.
At 6:36 p.m., the conversation peaked with over 16,000 tweets per minute when Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and United Nationalists Alliance presidential bet and Vice President Jejomar Binay engaged in a tense exchange on the country’s drug problems and the disparity of the rich and the poor in Makati City, the latter’s bailiwick.
At this moment, Roxas criticized Binay’s leardership in Makati, saying that the city held by the Binays for decades has two versions.
“‘Di ba totoo na dalawa ang Makati–Ang Makati ng mga Ayala na maunlad at maraming trabaho at Makati ng mga Binay na mahirap pa rin…Pembo, Rembo nandyan pa rin mga mahihirap?” Roxas said.
(Isn’t it true that there are two faces of Makati: The Makati of the Ayalas which is progressive and teeming with jobs, and the Makati of the Binays, like Pembo and Rembo, which continues to be poor?)
Binay was quick to rebut, “‘Yung Rembo masaya mga tao doon kasi ‘yung mga lupa nabigay na at malaki na ang halaga. Wala nang kahirapan sa Rembo. Nakapag-deliver kami at naangat namin ang buhay nila.”
(The people of Rembo are happy already because they own their own land. There is no poverty in Rembo. We were able to deliver on our promise to improve their lives.)
During the debate which discussed three primary issues, “poverty, development, and agriculture” registered the most interest with 51 percent of the tweets, according to Twitter’s analysis. This was followed by “peace and order” (22 percent), “track record” (16 percent), “Mindanao issues” (8 percent), and “Corruption” (2 percent).
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had the highest share of voice during the debate at 43 percent and also had the highest increase at 18 percent from before the start of debate. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago dropped 20 percent in share of voice to become the least discussed candidate during the debate.
The realtime data, visualizations and analytics used during the debate were supplied by Twitter to Comelec. The data, visualized in maps and graphs, were aired live on TV and on livestream made available on INQUIRER.net‘s home and elections site.
“We’re excited to empower Filipinos across the nation and all over the world to engage in millions of conversations about the first presidential debate for this year’s #TwitterElection in the Philippines,” said Pratiksha Rao, Twitter’s Head for Media Partnerships for Southeast Asia.
“Yesterday’s debate was a resounding success with our media partners and shows how millions of people are flocking to Twitter to experience and participate in the live debate,” she added.
Twitter encourages Filipinos to join the networking site for a chance to be heard as an “influential voice” during the elections debates and as the country picks its next top leaders come May 2016. IDL
Below are some of the most liked and shared tweets: