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Dichotomizing Ideological Representations in President Benigno Aquino III's October 30th Address

Quinto Edward Jay Mansarate 1

1School of Languages, Humanities and Social Sciences Mapúa Institute of Technology, Manila, The Phili

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ABSTRACT

On October 30th 2013, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III addressed the Filipino people in a 12-minute televised speech, in which he defended the government's spending program, Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), against accusations of it being the President's version of lawmakers' Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF) or ‘Pork Barrel.’ This paper examined ideological representations through a systematic discourse analysis of the 19-paragraph, 1851-word speech. In particular, the paper examined lexical choices within the bounds of ‘biased lexical items’ in political discourse (van Dijk 2005) and ‘referential strategy’ (Wodak, De Cillia & Reisigl 1999). Analysis of data pointed to the polarization of pronouns representing ‘US’ and ‘THEM.’ Data also revealed that positive-self and negative-others representations were achieved through the use of two strategies in van Dijk's (1998) ideological square: (i) emphasis of good things about ‘US’ and (ii) emphasis of bad things about ‘THEM.’ These strategies framed the President and his administration under good governance and administration accomplishments, while framing the critics and opposition as enemies of good governance and part of a failed past. The President's discursive choices reinforced the underlying ideological implication, ‘the Disbursement Acceleration Program is not pork barrel.’ The paper closes with some implications for future research. (200)

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