Dissecting the COVID19 Speeches of President Rodrigo Duterte through the lens of Critical Discourse Analysis

COVID19 speeches, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics, President Duterte


  • Roseniya G. Tamano
    Associate Professor V, College of Education, Mindanao State University, Philippines
  • Wardah D. Guimba Associate Professor V, College of Education, Mindanao State University, Philippines
  • Monassalam M. Disangcopan Assistant Professor IV College of Education, Mindanao State University, Philippines
April 27, 2021


In time of pandemic, a message from a country’s leader is critical to calm the shaken nation, address the challenges, and put things in order. There are a number of studies using CDA for political speeches, but few have dealt with recent speeches about COVID19 pandemic. This paper specifically problematizes the covid19 speeches of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines which have not yet been explored. Thus, this study endeavors on investigating the linguistic features, cohesion, and social issues and ideology embedded in the covid19 speeches of President Duterte. This qualitative study utilized the Systemic Functional Linguistics as a method of data analysis. It was found that covid19 speeches of President Duterte generally highlights promoting inclusivity and service to the nation and this was achieved through his dominant use of personal pronouns, present and future tenses, present progressives, use of modal verbs will and through the properties of cohesion found in his speeches. His linguistic choices also revealed two layers of meaning clustered into extrinsic and intrinsic meanings. Although the speeches encourage solidarity and inclusivity, it was also loaded with forewarning against corrupt officials. Meanwhile, social issues found which are distinct from his non-covid19 speeches in terms of contexts are corruption, politicking, red tape, abuse of power, and socio-economic dilemmas.