On Oct 2, broadcast journalist Raffy Tulfo has filed for his certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for senator in the 2022 general election. He clarifies in his short conference that he is not part of any party and is running as an independent. He is also currently the top pick in Pulse Asia’s survey 2022 Elections: Senatorial Preferences dated on September 6-11. With a 55.2% rating, we can almost predict that he can easily win in the coming election.
If he wins, this would be the first time he would hold a political office. People may ask how such a man who has never been in the government can be at the top of a survey poll of a senatorial race. But a broadcasting journalist winning in such elections with no previous political background is nothing new. We can liken Tulfo’s entrance to politics with Noli de Castro’s, a well known broadcasting journalist who also became a top voter’s pic in the 2001 Philippine Senate election. De Castro garnered 55.09% or over 16.2 million votes running under an independent banner as well.
We’ll dive into a closer in our prediction on how Raffy Tulfo will win:
1. He has successfully popularized his name as a brand of justice
We’ve talked before on how Raffy Tulfo has created an image for himself as an online landmark for charity and social justice. His Youtube channel currently has 21.8 million subscribers which main topics are usually about people seeking help for injustices, whether private or concerning abuses from people in power. It’s often destitute people who look for his assistance regarding such matters. People call him “idol Raffy” which effectively boosts his image as an authority mediator in these disputes. His name has become synonymous to justice to the point that people would say “ipapa Tulfo kita” instead of “idedemanda kita” (“I will report you to Tulfo” instead of “I will sue you”).
2. Filipinos are hoping for a faster criminal justice system
Justice delayed is justice denied. Many Filipinos are not satisfied with the efficiency and speed of the criminal justice system. Under the current Duterte administration, law enforcers have been heavily criticized for allegedly resorting to far too many systematic extrajudicial acts where the rights of the people for a fair trial are not guaranteed. Often it is the poor who come out voiceless in situations where people in power commit atrocities.
Supporters are placing their hopes on Tulfo to fix this problem. Because they see him in his show being able to swiftly “arrange” solutions for disputes and injustices. His brand of justice is what Tulfo promises to bring in the senate when he wins. Using his show as a platform for examples, he may be able to persuade the common folk.
3. He has great social media and marketing team
Really, his people have done a great job making him popular online through out the years. The Pulse Asia survey numbers proves it. He is more favorable by voters than experienced politicians. He probably knows that he doesn’t even need to tour around the country to campaign. All his team needs to do is just press the record button of their phones and post it in social media.
Not only are they great in utilizing Youtube, his team is also proficient in Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. With these social media platforms, he has reached all demographics ahead of everyone else in the race.
Going back to the question earlier on how can a man with no relevant political experience be on the top of the senatorial race, I think people still underestimate the fact that Raffy Tulfo is not just a politician or a broadcast journalist, he is also a brand.