There are 40 million estimated number of Facebook users who are 18 to 65 years old from the Philippines according to Facebook’s Ads Manager. This huge number is already 80 percent of the 50 million voters who are already registered for the May 2016 local and national elections.
However, not all of those 40 million Facebook accounts are unique, genuine, or are using accurate personal information such as age and location. Nevertheless, we can’t still deny the fact that there are millions of Filipinos who are using Facebook and that their voting power can make a big difference in the 2016 national poll results.
Almost all Filipinos who are using the Internet use Facebook, whether it’s on their desktop computers, tablets or smart phones. Though it might be far from the actual 2016 presidential poll results, it’s interesting to see the numbers of people who liked the official pages of people who will run or might run in the coming elections.
If you are curious about who the most liked presidentiables on Facebook are, here are the top 12 possible or qualified presidential candidates who have the highest number of likes on their Facebook Pages as of September 10, 2015.
1. Miriam Defensor Santiago
Facebook Page Like: 3,094,891
Senator Miriam Santiago may not be the one who’s topping the Pulse Asia or SWS surveys but the tough senator, who have already served all three branches of the Philippine government (judicial, executive and legislative), is the most liked presidentiable on Facebook, having more than 3 million likes in her Facebook page. The iron lady of Asia is not only famous for her fierce statements against corruption but she’s also popular among the youth for her humorous lines.
2. Jejomar “Jojo” Binay
Facebook Page Like: 1,730,799
The vice president has already officially declared his candidacy in the 2016 presidential poll. Though there are allegations of corruptions thrown to him, which Binay claimed as black propagandas fabricated by the administration, he’s still popular among the masses, and one of the top presidentiables in the current Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia surveys. The standard bearer of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) aims to improve public education, health, housing, transportation, employment, and security in the country.
3. Manny Villar
Facebook Page Like: 1,637,157
The former Senator, former presidential candidate, and the incumbent president of the Nacionalista Party has already been silent in the world of politics, as he is now more focused on his business. But is he already permanently retiring from politics? Well, we don’t know that for sure. What we know is that his wife (Senator Cynthia Villar) and son (Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar) are currently in the senate and congress, respectively.
4. Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte
Facebook Page Like: 1,001,802
The tough yet humble Mayor of Davao City might not be running for president but his million followers are not losing hope. Among the 12 Facebook pages in this list, it’s only Duterte’s page that has no cover page, a sign that his page has not yet undergone any Facebook advertising campaign. In other words, all the likes he earned might be natural or organic. For many netizens, Mayor Duterte is their hope for a better change in this country. Can they make his page surpass the number of likes Senator Santiago has?
5. Manuel “Mar” Roxas
Facebook Page Like: 972,217
The outgoing DILG secretary has already been endorsed by President Benigno”Noynoy” Aquino III as the standard bearer of Liberal Party in the 2016 presidential election. Will the president’s endorsement finally bring Mar Roxas in the highest government position in our country? Will the Filipino people still believe and like the slogan “Tuwid na daan”? Perhaps we can see the number of likes in his page in the coming days ahead.
6. Alan Peter Cayetano
Facebook Page Like: 746,050
The senator might run as a running mate of Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas II in the 2016 general elections. He is also holding informal talks with the people who are close to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and other political parties to run with in 2016. Though the senator may not bid as a president in the coming elections, his interest in the highest position of the land is not yet closed.
7. Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro, Jr.
Facebook Page Like: 716,556
The former National Defense secretary and chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) was considered to be one of the smartest and best qualified public servants to run as the president of the Philippines. However, Gibo was defeated by President Noynoy Aquino in the 2010 presidential elections.
8. Francis “Chiz” Escudero
Facebook Page Like: 545,168
There’s a possibility that Senators Chiz Escudero and Grace Poe will be running mates in the 2016 national elections. Though Escudero will most likely run as Poe’s vice president, we can still consider the veteran senator as a presidentiable in terms of qualifications and experience as a top government official.
9. Grace Poe
Facebook Page Like: 503,215
Senator Grace Poe is new to the world of politics. However, her popularity and image as a politician who’s still free from corruption bring her on the top of Pulse Asia and SWS presidential surveys. The senator who topped the 2013 senatorial race is most likely to run as president despite of the offer made by the administration to make her the running mate of Mar Roxas, the standard bearer of Liberal Party. Will her popularity also rise on Facebook? We’ll see.
10. Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Facebook Page Like: 497,501
The former president of the Republic of the Philippines and the incumbent mayor of Manila may not run again in the 2016 presidential poll. However, we cannot deny that Erap still has the charisma as a leader among the masses. He was second in the 2010 presidential poll results (next to President Benigno Aquino III), garnering over 9 million votes or 26.25% of the total number of votes.
11. Dick Gordon
Facebook Page Like: 318,107
The Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross is known as a man of action. He served the country well during his terms as a Senator and Tourism secretary. He’s one of the few people who may be perfect to be called as a presidentiable. However, Gordon lost on his bid in the 2010 presidential race, as well as in the 2013 senatorial election.
12. Bongbong Marcos
Facebook Page Like: 285,754
Bongbong Marcos started his political career when he was elected Vice Governor of the Province of Ilocos Norte in 1980. The son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos admitted his own intention to run either for president or vice president. The senator may be last in this list but will the number of Marcos Loyalists bring him to the top? Let’s wait and see.
So, did your favorite presidentiable make it to the top? Did we miss someone who should have been included in the list?
Remember that the likes on their Facebook pages may or may not really represent a true like, as anyone can click the like button but not actually cast a vote.
As a digital marketing professional, I can also say that those numbers will also depend on the ability of their own social media marketing campaign manager and the availability of their budget.
Nevertheless, those figures may still be a good indication of their chance to win the presidential race. Anyway, their numbers can still grow drastically as there are still several months until the elections are held.
We will update this list after one month and will measure their growth rate. So stay tuned.