Trending in the Philippines

By: Eliza Cana.

With the ever growing access to news all over the world through the internet and social media, people are kept aware of the happenings in their surrounding countries. Literally in the palm of our hands, we can access the latest stories across the globe with an app on our iPhones. People are no longer limited to their own bubble of news with this advancement in journalism.

Social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are being used daily by citizen journalists and professional journalists who are re-tweeting, posting and sharing all kinds of news. We observe, by these tweets and posts, what the people care about and we see that a lot of the time people are concerned about the same things. Certain news spread like wildfire and become a trend. These trending topics of news are often shared with a hashtag.

During my search for top news in the Philippines, I found hashtags #RodrigoDuterte, #PhilippineDrugWar, and stories about the Norwegian hostages being freed in the Philippines .

President Rodrigo Duterte is in the spotlight not only in the Philippines but around the world. According to the blog Quartz , within Duterte’s first 12 weeks of presidency, he has already insulted The European Union, President Obama, The United Nations, Pope Francis, and many more. He’s already killed over 3,000 people in the Philippines due to the drug war that he commenced in order to put a stop to crime. In the public eye, he’s made crude remarks to women, authority figures, and more. Some people compare his behavior to that of Trump’s.

These two stories describe the ongoing drug war in the Philippines under Duterte’s presidency that has killed over 3,000 lives since July, according to Reuters. In the article by Reuters, Philippine senators castigate Duterte’s leadership for angering rights groups, the U.S. and the United Nations, also angering local Filipinos for creating a bad reputation for their country. In TIME‘s article, you see an inside story of how locals feel about the president and the ongoing drug war.

These topics are trending news in the Philippines because many citizens are affected by this.

 

The story of the Norwegian hostages have appeared in many news handles. This Norwegian man, Kjartan Sekkingstad was finally freed from being in captivity for one year in the jungles of the southern Philippines. The Abu Sayyaf jihadists released him after an unconfirmed ransom was paid. President Duterte said in August a large ransom was already paid to release Sekkingstad but he was still being held. According to BBC, the army’s attacks on the militants are what lead them to release Sekkingstad. Last year, four hostages were kidnapped from a resort, one of them including Sekkingstad. Two were beheaded, a woman was freed in June and Sekkingstad in September. This sparks a lot of concern because many Filipino and foreign civilians have been kidnapped and used as hostages for ransoms. The Abu Sayyaf group want to create an independent Islamic state in the Philippines and hold these hostages as a tactic to pressure the government.

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