President Rodrigo R. Duterte is a communication phenomenon who needs “deconstructing” to be better understood and appreciated.
On November 25, some of the country’s top social scientists, communication scholars and practitioners joined government spokespersons in a forum aimed at dissecting the communication style that made Rodrigo R. Duterte capture the imagination of 16 million voters, receive high trust rating, and mobilize passionate defenders including the so-called “social media trolls.”
Deconstructing towards Understanding: the Communication Content & Style of President Rodrigo R. Duterte was held by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Inc. (AMIC) at the Conrado Benitez Hall of Philippine Women’s University in Manila.
According to AMIC chairman Dr. Crispin C. Maslog, deconstruction is a social science method of critical text analysis that does not actually mean “demolition.” The term was coined by French philosopher and semiotician Jacques Derrida in the 1960s. Social scientists use this as method to discover, recognize, and understand the underlying assumptions, ideas, and frames that form the basis for thoughts and beliefs.
Among the speakers were National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, Ramon “Bong” Osorio, sociolinguist Prof. Farah Cunanan, historian Prof. Clement Camposano, and journalists Ellen Tordesillas, Marites Vitug, and John Nery.
AMIC is a media international non-government organization (INGO) committed to promote communication and media development in the Asia Pacific region. It seeks to provide a platform for discussion of current and emerging communication issues.
During the event, AMIC also inaugurated its new headquarters at PWU. Established and registered in 1971 as a non-profit NGO in Singapore, AMIC transferred its operation to Manila, Philippines in 2015. It is managed by the Philippine Women’s University-Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication consortium.