Duterte’s Twitter campaign, #PartnerforChange, becomes unintentionally hilarious

  • Newly-sworn president Rodrigo Duterte calls on Filipinos to be a partner for change
  • PCDSPO launched  the #PartnerForChange campaign that sends out “personal messages” to Filipinos on Twitter
  • Some Twitter users changed their names to poke fun at the online gimmick

In his June 30 inauguration, newly-sworn President Rodrigo Duterte calls on Filipinos to help build a better Philippines by becoming a partner for change.

The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO)  launched the #PartnerForChange campaign ahead of Duterte’s noontime inauguration at Malacañang, and sent out “personal messages” to Filipinos on Twitter.

Image from PCDSPO's Twitter account
Image from PCDSPO’s Twitter account

The campaign works by sending an automated “personal message” from Duterte through a graphic, with the text: “Dear ___, Be a partner for change. Let us build a better Philippines, together.—Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”

The Twitter card is being sent to any user who tweets with the hashtag #PartnerForChange, whose username is automatically being carried in the message.

In an instant, the well-meaning campaign became hilarious as PCDSPO extend the invitation to Twitter users with funny names such as “Paidtroll”, “Crush”, “Ayy Mahal Ko Siya”, with some changing their usernames with funny or obscene words to  deliberately poke fun at PCDSPO’s online gimmick, as per an article published by Rappler.

Image from PCDSPO's Twitter account
Image from PCDSPO’s Twitter account

A Twitter user, Yves Gonzales, sent a message to PCDSPO: “Lesson #1 Day 1 for President Duterte’s Communications Office, ALWAYS setup a profanity filter for autoresponders.”

PCDSPO later decided to change the graphic, making it “troll-proof.”

It now reads: “A message to you from #PresidentDuterte, your #PartnerForChange.”

Twitter, responding to address the issue, said  in a statement:  “While there have been a handful of inappropriate uses of the auto-reply system, we have taken quick action to investigate and remove them from Twitter’s platform.”