HomeARETEvol. 5 no. 1 (2017)

The Image of 2016 Presidential Candidates Via Political Shills: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Chrestine A. Cervantes

Discipline: Literature, English, Communication Arts



This dissertation aimed to portray the image of 2016 presidential candidates through political shills. It also aimed to determine the production and reception as well as the socio-historical conditions of political advertising through the political shills. To find answers to the research questions, this qualitative inquiry employed the Critical Discourse Analysis coined with Systemic Functional Linguistics to 150 political shills with one thousand or more likes extracted from Facebook pages. By analyzing the modality and transitivity of political shills, it was observed that each candidate projects a certain image that is uniquely different from each other positively or negatively as seen in the systematic analysis of names used. The political shills of the five candidates reflect various meanings and modality. The opinions of speakers on Poe and Binay present an epistemic meaning in promoting the candidate, implying a weakening of commitment to the truth of the statement; opinions of speakers on Roxas and Santiago present a bouletic meaning indicating their desire for their candidates to win the presidential race; and opinions of speakers on Duterte present a deontic modality reflecting their beliefs that Duterte is a man of action. It was recommended that further study be conducted using nominalization, opposition and negation to better understand the underlying message of the shills as a way of understanding the dynamics of public discourses on a country’s political situation and landscape.