Santiago most liked, followed on social media
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is the most “liked” and “followed” on social media among presidential aspirants, with Sen. Grace Poe – current frontrunner in the surveys – lagging behind the rest of the candidates for the highest post in the land.

A look into the official social media accounts of those who have declared their intention to run for president next year showed that Santiago, who in recent years has become a social media star, has the most likes on Facebook and the most followers on Twitter.

More than three million users have liked her official Facebook page, while over two million are following her on Twitter.

Behind her are Vice President Jejomar Binay, with 1.7 million likes on Facebook and over 260,000 followers on Twitter, and former interior secretary Mar Roxas, who has over a million Facebook likes and more than 530,000 Twitter followers.

Lagging behind them is Poe, whose official Facebook page only has almost 600,000 likes and almost 54,000 Twitter followers.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has over 1.1 million likes on Facebook and over 11,000 followers on Twitter.

While popularity on social media does not necessarily translate to votes, a candidate’s presence in cyberspace – particularly his or her way of “connecting” to an Internet-savvy generation of Filipinos – may spell victory or defeat in tight race cases.

On Thursday, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body would not regulate – but simply monitor – the candidates’ use of social media during the campaign period.

He said social media “does have a very strong impact as it increases the interest of ordinary people in the process because it makes everything more accessible to everyone.”

For those running for vice president, it appears that Sen. Gregorio Honasan II – running mate of Binay – has a lot of catching up to do in terms of social media presence. Honasan has no active social media account as of yesterday and his Facebook page, with over 8,000 likes, was last active in 2013, when he ran for a Senate seat.

Sens. Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero and Antonio Trillanes IV have the most likes on Facebook, with over 999,000, over 578,000 and over 577,000 likes, respectively.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has over 400,000 likes on Facebook. His social media team is actively calling on netizens to increase the page’s supporters to half a million in the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, administration candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo – running mate of Roxas – has almost 330,000 likes on Facebook.

Robredo previously earned praises from netizens after two photos – one showing her waiting for a bus and another when she avoided the red carpet during the President’s State of the Nation Address – went viral on the Internet. – With Sheila Crisostomo

ACIRC ALAN PETER CAYETANO CAMARINES SUR REP DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE FACEBOOK FERDINAND MARCOS JR. FRANCIS ESCUDERO AND ANTONIO TRILLANES GRACE POE LIKES MEDIA SOCIAL
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