Monday, February 13, 2012

1st AFP chief joins Twitter; soldiers not followers yet

Now that he’s getting the hang of it, will he now communicate with his Commander-in-Chief via Twitter?
Upon the prodding of his children, the head of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has joined the social networking craze.
On Friday, AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa opened an account on Twitter.
“This is the official twitter account of the Chief of Staff, AFP. Thank you to the first followers,” read Dellosa’s first tweet in the morning.
“This account is not only for our soldiers but to reach out also to the people I serve. Thank you,” he tweeted in the afternoon.
As of 5 p.m., his account @CSAFPDellosa had drawn 50 followers, including several journalists—that irrepressible bunch he can’t get away from.
Direct access
While the AFP has an account on Twitter (@TeamAFP) and on Facebook, another equally popular social networking site, Dellosa is believed to be the first military chief and so far the only one in the military top brass to have a personal account on a social networking site.
“I was encouraged by my children to embrace the social media,” the 55-year-old general said in a statement to reporters. “I was curious about what it can do to help the organization reach out to our soldiers in the field. This is their direct access to me.”
“I have realized that social media can be a very effective feedback mechanism not only to address the concerns of our ground units but also to help spread the developments brought by our IPSP (internal peace and security plan) Bayanihan campaign,” Dellosa went on.
A salute
Also referred to as a micro-blogging site, Twitter allows its users to announce or tweet their views in 140 characters.
In turn, his “followers” can reply or repost his tweets (called retweet). But everyone on Twitter can send him a message. This starts a conversation that can be read by one’s followers.
So far, on his first day, Dellosa has not received any messages from his followers, except from one @akosibebang06 who told him: “we salute your kind heart sir… Godspeed!”
‘Your soldier’
In his account, Dellosa described himself simply as “your soldier.”
Dellosa has, so far, followed 22 Twitter accounts, including those of President Aquino, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Teofisto Guingona III and Pia Cayetano, and four Cabinet secretaries.
The rest were the Twitter accounts of the AFP and various government agencies.
Meanwhile, he has attracted an assortment of followers, mostly private individuals and groups, including deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Media Office (@CBCP4LIFE).
Interestingly, no soldier or officer was among those who followed Dellosa’s account as of late Friday afternoon.
1:58 am | Saturday, February 11th, 2012

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