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Duterte, His Supporters, and His Critics on ‘Development’: A Critical Discourse Analysis on Dutertismo Narratives

Leo D. Rayon, Jr.
Davao del Norte State College, Panabo City, Philippines


As the phenomenal Filipino incarnation of governance style and political culture, the emergence of Dutertismo in the echelons of Philippine politics propelled differing and perplexing realities on development discourse among nation-builders. While the literature on Dutertismo remains fragmented, the apparent language gap among President Rodrigo Duterte, his supporters, and his critics continues to become controversial and complex having no studies that explored development discourse as lens for investigation. This discourse-based study explored how the language of development is formed, communicated, and congruent in terms of transitivity, modality, and topic categories in 15 Dutertismo narratives using critical discourse analysis. The findings revealed that: a) President Duterte built his ideological stance on assertions, instructions, and warnings while supporters and critics both espoused ideologies on the President’s ‘state of being’ and ‘having’; b) President Duterte maintained a positive perspective on development and committed to deliver his development promises, the supporters established a positive allegiance to the President while the critics positively established the President as being far from the traits of a true Filipino leader; c) President Duterte exhorted his development topics on political will, the supporters underscored topics on the President’s strong will, and the critics preached topics on President as an authoritarian thinker. The study recommends widening the scope of Dutertismo narratives encompassing economic, social, political, cultural, educational, and scientific narratives to draw a bigger and more comprehensive picture of development discourse which can accommodate and unravel more varied discourse features, topic categories, and ideological patterns of Dutertismo narratives.


critical discourse analysis, Duterte, supporters, critics, Dutertismo

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023