Filipino politicians are now among the avid users of social networking site Facebook especially with the 2010 election just a year away.
Among the political personalities who have Facebook profiles are Senators Loren Legarda, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Richard Gordon, Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, and National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr..
Even former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who is also rumored to be preparing to run in the 2010 presidential election, has a Facebook page. His son Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who is up for re-election as senator and is reportedly eyeing a vice-presidential run, also has a Facebook profile.
Most of these profiles were reportedly created during the past few months.
Information technology expert Jaime Garchitorena of YouthVote Philippines said social networking sites like Facebook, Friendster, and Multiply can help voters get to know their candidates more.
Garchitorena, however, said there could also be pitfall in relying on information posted in such websites.
“Puwedeng makatulong sa awareness pero baka makasama rin kasi baka mamaya hindi pala talaga siya ‘yong nasa Facebook,” he said.
During the campaign in the last US elections, then candidate Barack Obama utilized Facebook to successfully push his presidential campaign.
But for Professor Edna Co of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance, nothing beats using personal touch in winning votes.
Nationwide tours may also be boosted by television and radio ads.
“Kailangan kasi mag ikot at makita, plus makita rin sila sa TV. Pinaka-pervasive talaga ‘yon,” said Co. -- With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News