Pro-Duterte accounts push survey showing Rody as top Senate bet in 2025

Jeline Malasig - Philstar.com
Pro-Duterte accounts push survey showing Rody as top Senate bet in 2025
File photos of former President Rodrigo Duterte from PNGAA, Wikimedia Commons, Philstar.com.
Graphics by Philstar.com / Anjilica Andaya
This report forms part of Philstar.com's coverage of influence operations, which involve the spread of false information and propaganda that can mislead, cause confusion and prevent informed understanding and discourse. Read our explainer on influence operations.


MANILA, Philippines — Different social media accounts, including known pro-Duterte internet personalities, have been amplifying survey findings that position former president Rodrigo Duterte as the top senatorial candidate in the 2025 polls. 

Data from social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle showed that at least five prominent Facebook pages that appear to be supportive of the former president used similar captions to promote the survey by private pollster Tangere, with posts appearing within hours or days of each other in a span of 10 days in August.

[Editor's note: These posts have some of the markings of an influence operation that Philstar.com is tracking across all social media platforms, groups and spaces on the internet. Among others, the posts appear to focus on hyping the former president’s potential return to politics in the 2025 midterm polls even as he has not announced any plans of doing so.]

Ten days before Tangere released the survey to the public, known pro-Duterte page “Krizette Laureta Chu” laid the groundwork by posting about the alleged widespread clamor for Duterte’s return to politics on August 1. She was also the associate and travel editor at the Manila Bulletin, according to a 2021 article by the publication.

In a post that has since garnered over 17,000 reactions and 300 shares, Chu claimed that a photo of Duterte had gone viral on Facebook with “messages of “I MISS YOU PRRD” and “BEST PRESIDENT EVER.” 

She said it showed that “people are longing for his leadership” but did not mention anything about a senatorial run. 

This screengrab was taken on November 1, 2023, 2:05 p.m.

Less than an hour later, Facebook account “Glenn Lloyd Gregorio” shared Chu’s post to the Facebook group “DDS - DUTERTE SUPPORTERS ON TWITTER INTERNATIONAL,” which has over 2,000 members.

Around two hours later, pro-Duterte Facebook page “DT,” which has nearly a million Facebook followers, shared Chu’s post.

Survey comes 10 days after ‘longing for Duterte’s leadership’ post

A day after Tangere shared its survey on Facebook on August 11 – which was exclusively reported by Manila Bulletin on the same day – two prominent pro-Duterte personalities amplified the report with positive messaging.

They are Mark Anthony Lopez and Pebbles Duque or Ma. Florinda Espenilla-Duque, the daughter of Gonzalo Duque  – the brother of former health secretary Francisco Duque under the Duterte administration, according to a 2020 report of Vera Files.

In the same report, Pebbles was identified as Director IV (head of agency) of the Bureau of Communications Services, an attached agency of the Presidential Communications Operations Office in 2020. Prior to that, she was appointed Director III at the PCOO for New Media and Special Concerns in July 2016 and has been involved in the PCOO-Philippine Information Agency's Dismiss Disinformation campaign. 

According to her LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, Pebbles is a news media strategist and social media specialist.

Meanwhile, Lopez posted about the survey on Facebook on August 12, 8:43 a.m. with the caption: “Good Saturday Morning, Pilipinas!” The post reached 2,000 likes and reactions, 209 comments and 42 shares.

Pebbles, on the other hand, posted about the survey twice on the same day – 10:40 a.m. and 11:27 a.m. Her first post had the caption: “SOLIIIIDDD!!!!!! Ito ang MASAYANG BALITA.” It amassed 81 likes and reactions, one comment and four shares. 

By 10:42 a.m. of the same day, Facebook page “VOVph” – which has 389,000 followers – raised awareness about the survey by copying the first three paragraphs of Manila Bulletin’s report. 

This was uploaded two minutes after Pebbles' first post. The page’s post has earned 82 likes and reactions, 11 comments and seven shares. 

Pebbles amplified her first post about Duterte by juxtaposing this with another senatorial survey by OCTA Research showing Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, Duterte’s former aide, as the second preferred bet. 

Pebbles wrote the following on August 12 at 11:27 a.m.: “Grabe.... Number 1 and 2!!!!!  GISING na ANG PILIPINAS! Di ako NAGSISI. SA TAMANG DIREKSYON LANG TAYO!” Her post has earned 38 likes and reactions and five shares. 

Around six hours later, Facebook page “WE Support President Duterte - Let the World Know” with 12,000 followers shared the link to Manila Bulletin’s report and copied the first paragraph as its caption. 

In the next two days, at least two YouTube channels drummed up similar hype about Duterte’s potential political return on the same day.

These are “Coach Jarret,” who uploaded his video on August 14 at 8:15 a.m. and “Pambansang Loyalista,” who posted his content at 2:30 p.m. on the same day. 

“Pambansang Loyalista” talked about Duterte’s potential return to politics as a senator and cited the Manila Bulletin article. He also included personal comments and reactions, including snide remarks to the former president's critics.  

“Coach Jarret” had a similar message but he cited an article by Politiko published on August 13. It had the title “Duterte Eyeing Political Comeback: ’It Will Be My Passion Again’” He read some parts of the article. 

Tangere: Survey was non-commissioned 

In a message to Philstar.com, Tangere said that the 2025 senatorial survey was “non-commissioned.” 

Tangere conducted the public opinion poll in August 2023 to measure voter preferences for the 2025 senatorial elections. 

The survey based its results on a self-accomplished online survey on the Tangere app, which the firm said used a “structured questionnaire and visual aids.” 

Tangere said that the target respondents nationwide were aged 18 years old and above from households of all socio-economic classes. The survey gathered 1,800 responses and used sampling as its sampling design. 

It had a margin of error of +/-2.3% at the 95% confidence level, the pollster added. 

The survey said that Duterte was the leading senatorial candidate for the 2025 midterm polls at 61%, followed by Rep. Erwin Tulfo of the ACT-CIS party-list at 58%. Former senate president Vicente “Tito” Sotto III followed at 52%. 

It added that Duterte “gained majority support across demographics and areas, though he is leveraging on the support of his bailiwick in Mindanao to make up for any potential losses in South Luzon/Bicol.” 

— with reports by Rosette Adel 

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