IN THE run-up to the election campaign period, there were intimate friends who, without the permission of President Rodrigo Duterte, pooled a few million pesos as a starter. Starter means finding out whether the Mayor is popular enough nationwide since part of the centerpiece of his program is war on drugs, crime and federalism. The mayor was not even mentioned or included in earlier surveys of probable presidential bets.
Oxford wise guys should have taken note that while Duterte was on a super roadshow for his Federal Movement, his intimate friends, to include Sonny Dominguez, Jess Dureza, Jun Evasco, Manny Piñol among others were actually evaluating the impact of Duterte on his audience. I managed to attend a few of these and I must say it was always characterized with intoxicating accolades. In an open forum after his speech before the top executives of Asia in Makati City, known to be the turf of leading presidential bet VP Jojo Binay, a lady executive pleaded on her knees as she urged Duterte to run for President.
Yes, the number of Duterte supporters in the social media evolved from just mere comments and few posts done in broken English and in the vernacular. This simply indicates the huge army of supporters from the grassroots not only from within the Philippines but from the overseas Filipino workers. This is a phenomenon a unprecedented in an electoral derby and thank you FACEBOOK and thank you Mark Zuckerberg for the space.. Oxford researchers should have made a spectacular thesis if it did a serious job on how a penniless man from the boondocks of Mindanao got elected.
Duterte had a "KEYBOARD ARMY" no doubt but none of the likes of paid syndicated propagandists which the Oxford study cited. There is something more which the geniuses in Oxford missed. Aside from the fact that Duterte cannot countenance a naturalized Filipino running for President there is another well-kept secret, which I will divulge here, that encouraged Duterte decide to run. As we all knew, Mayor Duterte did not file his candidacy on the last regular day of filing certificates of candidacy which was on October 16, 2015. But something along the way happened. The commission on election informed Martin Dino a PDP candidate that he might be disqualified. Insulted he withdrew giving PDP an option to field a substitute candidate. Around that time, the front runner candidates were busy conducting surveys. Among the horrific results revealed by their surveys was that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte topped in all 19 towns and cities of the National Capital Regjion except in Makati where Binay leads but with a slight edge over Duterte. This vital info leaked to the Duterte camp and the buzz was on again.
In the Philippine electoral derby it is a given that he or she who takes NCR conquers all. On December 10, 2015 Duterte filed his certificate of candidacy as a substitute candidate and the nation celebrated in grand euphoria. He went on to win decisively despite all the desperate move to manipulate the results via the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine. The support of the keyboard cavalry never waned. Oxford, with its obstinate prejudice and penchant for table research and surveys will never accept this one great moment in the Philippines electoral process. Some of their fellows cheated with their facts.