by Homerun Nievera |
Some say that this year’s elections are like 1992 — during that year’s presidential elections when the Filipino people elected a minority president in Fidel V. Ramos. They said then that the so called silent majority spoke through the ballot on election day.
But in today’s elections, there’s a twist to the story’s plot. The silent majority is using social media — Facebook in particular — to mobilize over a hundred thousand people in just a week’s time.
They are operating in stealth amidst trolls who inserted themselves into the group and quietly watch and listen to their discussions and plans. They seemed to be loosely organized at first with only six original admins. After a few days, there were twenty four admins to moderate the dozens of discussions every hour.
There is one thing that binds them. The belief in the #MarLeni tandem. And yes, there’s also the color yellow.
The Silent Majority (TSM for short) is a Facebook group composed of ordinary and patriotic people who want to make sure that the Filipino people will elect a solid team to both the presidency and vice presidency. Their choice is clear: Sec. Mar Roxas and Congw. Leni Robredo for president and vice president respectively. They use the hashtags #RoxasRoberedo2016 and #TheSilentMajority. The group believes that voting BOTH their candidates is the way to achieve more progress for the Philippines.
According to one of the original group organizers, Jozy Acosta-Nisperos, “the premise of this group is that, contrary to perception, Mar Roxas has a sizeable base. But that this base is silent, casting doubt on his “winnability” and leading doubtful supporters to shift.”
The objective was simply to gather the silent majority together to prove that perception wrong, thus erasing the doubts of the undecideds and propelling Mar and Leni to victory.
The said premise resonated. The Silent Majority surpassed their one hundred thousand target members in less than a week. It became a spark to move people to action while providing a wealth of resources which they can tap for those actions. Nisperos added,
Today, this social media campaign is spilling over to the offline arena to amplify our message.
One of the TSM members, who requested to remain anonymous, admitted that he was initially undecided on who to vote for president but was for Congw. Leni Robredo for VP. He got invited to the FB group by another friend and was later convinced that Sec. Roxas is truly the best choice for the presidency. How did that happen? He read through all the threads and followed the links to news reports and various data. He said that he compared them with all the propaganda of the other candidates and discerned on his final decision.
Nisperos revealed that:
We are only cautious about activities that might give the perception that we are in any way affiliated with or funded by a political party. We are, have been, and always will be an independent, citizen-driven, volunteer group.
The Silent Majority has gained momentum outside of social media and into the streets. They have organized themselves for each major city with or without coordination with the #RoRo teams in the areas.
As of this writing, TSM breached the 120,000 member mark.
It feels like EDSA all over again.