The Democratic Paradox of Duterte: Mapping the cognitive-affective ideological structure of leftist student organizations in Manila and Davao

APCoRE Online Journal of Proceedings 1(1) (2021)
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Abstract

The ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines has become the epicenter of discourse and concern regarding human rights, populism, and illiberal democracy. While most studies focus on President Duterte's controversial 'strongman' persona and mass appeal, very few have sought to analyze the locals' attitudes towards him as cognitive-affective phenomena. To address this gap, this paper provides an in-depth qualitative analysis of pre-selected subjects in Davao and Manila, two regions in the Philippines with arguably the most salient pro-and anti-Duterte populations, respectively, in 2019. Using a mapping software modeled after Paul Thagard's emotional coherence theory, this study maps the possible cognitive-affective processes underpinning the political ideologies of an influential leftist organization in the Philippines. Cognitive dissonance theory was used to consolidate the qualitative analyses of data derived from the surveys and interviews. The findings suggest that the two populations' political ideologies were relatively similar, as expected of subjects who belong to the same organization. However, the significant differences in the subjects' stances towards the Duterte administration suggest that the socio-political contexts of Manila and Davao could affect political opinions and views despite their similar core political ideologies.

Author's Profile

Patricia Eunice Miraflores
University of Groningen

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