Clarissa C. David

Sex: Female


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Research, University of Pennsylvania, 2006

Master of Arts in Communication Research, University of the Philippines, 2000

Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Ateneo de Manila University, 1998

Field of Specialization:
Quantitative Research

Survey Research



Article:  Navigating Globalization in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Authors: Ronald U. Mendoza, Arsenio M. Balisacan, Sheena Valenzuela, Clarissa C. David, et al.

Publication title: SSRN Electronic Journal, January 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected over 200 countries and territories, leading to well over 40 million confirmed cases and over 1.1 million deaths worldwide ( While many are hopeful, an effective vaccine is not yet assured, and the world still struggles with the so-called “new normal” during the pandemic. Meanwhile, even prior to the pandemic, deep structural “mega-trends” have been sweeping across the world, notably the emergence of a new era of “digital globalization”. These changes promise to re-shape international economic linkages just like the previous waves of globalization relating to trade, finance, and people. In important ways, this new globalization is linked to the 4th industrial revolution, which sees automation, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT) and other technological trends reshaping not just the world economy, but also creating disruptions and spurring innovations in social and political spheres.

Using a Philippine perspective, it is critical to understand the implications of these waves of change, which are sweeping across the world. Intended as an evidence-based foresight analysis. this paper maps the main features of globalization in the aftermath of COVID-19; and it outlines some initial policy directions with a particular focus on science and technology. Its main recommendation is to focus the Philippines’ effort to build-back-better from the health pandemic on areas that would improve on inclusive recovery from the pandemic, and inclusive development during the post-pandemic period.

Article title: The Philippines' antidrug campaign: Spatial and temporal patterns of killings linked to drugs

Authors: Jenna Mae Atun, Ronald U. Mendoza, Clarissa C. David, Radxeanel Peviluar N. Cossid, et al.

Publication title: The International Journal on Drug Policy 73(1): 100-111, August 2019



Background: As soon as President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, the Philippine government launched a nationwide anti drug campaign based on enforcement-led anti-illegal drugs policies primarily implemented by the national police. This was followed by a spate of killings resulting from both acknowledged police operations and by unidentified assailants. This study assembles a victim-level dataset of drug-related killings covered by the media during the Philippine government's anti drug campaign, and presents a spatial and temporal analysis of the killings. Methods: The dataset covers information on 5021 people killed from May 10, 2016 to September 29, 2017. Data collected systematically through online search procedures and existing listings of media organizations detailing information about incidences of drug-related police operations and drug-related killings in 'vigilante-style' manner reveal patterns for who were being killed, where, and how. Results: Over half of the killings were due to acknowledged police operations, and the rest were targeted in so-called 'vigilante-style' killings. The first three months after Mr. Duterte was sworn in were the deadliest months. Those who were killed were mostly low-level drug suspects. The analysis of temporal pattern reveals the scale of killings in the country, with rapid escalation starting in July 2016 and lasting throughout the rest of that year. Observable declines occurred during periods when the 'drug war' was suspended and operations were moved to a non-police enforcement unit and rose again when police were brought back into operations. The spatial analysis indicates a large concentration of deaths in the National Capital Region (40%) compared to the rest of the country with wide variations across cities and regions. Conclusions: Overall, the Philippine 'drug war' exhibits similarities with violent wars on drugs waged in other countries such as Thailand, with heavily police-led interventions leading to fatalities in the thousands over a span of under two years. Findings of this study point to important policy adjustments that need to be made, including the role that local governments play in drug policy implementation, the disproportionate negative impacts of enforcement-led policies against drugs on urban and poor areas, the targeting of low-level suspected drug dealers and users, and the importance of proper data monitoring and transparency by the government to inform policy adjustments in the face of high costs to human life. We also discuss the importance of independent monitoring systems when the government reports conflicting information.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Crystallising the official narrative: News discourses about the killings from the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs

Authors: Cheryll Soriano, Clarissa C. David, Jenna Mae Atun

Publication title: Journalism, August 2019


News media’s construction of crime and drugs can shape and change public perceptions and influence popular acceptance of policy and state responses. In this way, media, through selection of sources and framing of narratives, act as important agents of social control, either independently or indirectly by state actors. This article examines how the Philippine government’s anti-drug campaign, and the thousands of deaths resulting from them, has been depicted by the media to the public. We conducted a discourse analysis of television news stories to extract dominant frames and narratives, finding a pattern of over-privileging of State authority as a source, resulting in a monolithic message of justifying the killing of suspects. Furthermore, the ‘event-focused’ slant, which dominates the character of reports by media, inevitably solidifies the narrative that the deaths are a necessary consequence of a national public safety campaign. By relying almost exclusively on this narrative, to the exclusion of alternative frames, the media amplifies and crystallises the state’s narrative. As we critically examine how drugs, drug use and the zero-tolerance policy are positioned through discourse in news texts, the article raises important implications to the ethics and role of journalism in politics and provides explanations relating to crime-reporting norms, values and media organisation realities in the country.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Reliance on Facebook for news and its influence on political engagement

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Ma. Rosel San Pascual, Ma. Eliz S. Torres

Publication title: PLoS ONE 14(3):e0212263, March 2019


This paper examines the link between reliance on Facebook for news, political knowledge, and political engagement in the Philippines. We tested five hypotheses using data gathered from an online survey of 978 Filipinos conducted from February 1 to March 31, 2016. Findings support the hypothesis that those who rely less on social media as a news source exhibit higher levels of perceived knowledge about politics than those who rely more on it for news. Controlling for traditional news use, following political officials or institutions on social media is associated with higher levels of political interest and engagement, those with more politically active friends on Facebook have higher levels of exposure to political content online, and there is a positive correlation between Facebook being a source of information about politics and discussing politics more often with others. However, the hypothesis that those with more friends on their network who are politically active, will have greater political knowledge and more political engagement than those who have few politically active friends on their Facebook network is not supported.


Article: Crystallizing the Official Narrative: News Discourses About the Killings from the Philippine Government’s Campaign Against Illegal Drugs

Authors: Cheryll Soriano, Clarissa C. David, Jenna Mae Atun

Publication title: SSRN Electronic Journal, January 2019


The paper examines the media’s role in shaping, crystallizing and amplifying a state­driven discourse of fear of illegal drug use, crime, and dehumanization of drug users. Drawing from a discourse analysis of news reports about the killings connected to the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs, the paper argues that privileging a single source (state authority) and taking an “event­-focused” narrative slant which were found to dominate the character of the reports, may unwittingly contribute to the justification of the state­led policy of zero tolerance policing towards illegal drugs. The expectation of “neutral reporting” about crime compels journalists to be reliant on traditional sources of crime stories and leaves them constrained from critically examining the circumstances of the killings. The paper raises important implications to the ethics and role of journalism in politics and provides explanations relating to traditional crime reporting norms, values, and media organization realities.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: School hazard vulnerability and student learning

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Sheryl Lyn Carreon Monterola, Antonino Paguirigan, Erika Fille Tupas Legara, et al.

Publication title: International Journal of Educational Research 92, August 2018


The Philippines is among the most exposed countries to natural hazards. Little is known about impacts of different natural hazards on academic gains or losses of cohorts of school children. Data from 33,704 elementary and 6337 secondary public schools (2009–2014) on typhoons, flood, earthquakes, and use as an evacuation center were analyzed. Provinces that are heavily populated and located near inland bodies of water are vulnerable to floods and those in the eastern side of the country are most vulnerable to typhoons. Correlational analyses on hazard vulnerability and change in school performance reveal that repeated use of school structures as evacuation centers has negative impact on school performance. There is provincial variability in magnitude of association between hazard vulnerability and test score gains/losses. These results have important implications on disaster mitigation and management in relation to education.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: The Philippines Anti-Drug Campaign: Building a Dataset of Publicly-Available Information on Killings Associated With the Anti-Drug Campaign

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Ronal U. Mendoza, Jenna Mae Atun, Radxeanel Peviluar Cossid, et al.

Publication title: SSRN Electronic Journal, January 2018

Abstract: no available

Full text available upon request to the author


Article : Predicting vote choice for celebrity and political dynasty candidates in Philippine national elections

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Ma. Rosel San Pascual

Publication title: Philippine Political Science Journal 37(2): 1-12, July 2016


Media celebrities and political dynasts dominate Philippine electoral politics, but little individual-level research has been done to understand who votes for them. This article studies three senatorial election cycles, and based on the theoretical argument that name recall plays a major role in vote choice in these elections, hypotheses are posed regarding associations with education, wealth status, media exposure, trust of the electoral process, and abstention rates. Tests indicate that wealthier voters and more educated ones are less likely to vote for media celebrities, and more highly educated voters are more likely to vote for dynastic candidates. No associations were found with media exposure and trust in elections. Abstention rates are highly associated with voting for media celebrity and dynastic candidates. Implications on the future of Philippine electoral politics are discussed.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Tweeting Supertyphoon Haiyan: Evolving Functions of Twitter during and after a Disaster Event

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Jonathan Corpus Ong, Erika Fille Tupas Legara

Publication title: PLoS ONE 11(3):E0150190, March 2016


When disaster events capture global attention users of Twitter form transient interest communities that disseminate information and other messages online. This paper examines content related to Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) as it hit the Philippines and triggered international humanitarian response and media attention. It reveals how Twitter conversations about disasters evolve over time, showing an issue attention cycle on a social media platform. The paper examines different functions of Twitter and the information hubs that drive and sustain conversation about the event. Content analysis shows that the majority of tweets contain information about the typhoon or its damage, and disaster relief activities. There are differences in types of content between the most retweeted messages and posts that are original tweets. Original tweets are more likely to come from ordinary users, who are more likely to tweet emotions, messages of support, and political content compared with official sources and key information hubs that include news organizations, aid organization, and celebrities. Original tweets reveal use of the site beyond information to relief coordination and response.


Article:  How Voters Combine Candidates on the Ballot: The Case of the Philippine Senatorial Elections

Authors: Erika Fille Tupas Legara and Clarissa C. David

Publication title: International Journal of Public Opinion Research 29(1), December 2015


In the Philippines, senators are nationally elected officials, and citizens vote for 12 candidates every three years. The country's electoral features include a weak party system, a low-information environment for voters, and a history of political dynasty rule and preponderance of media celebrities in elected political offices. The article first applies cluster analysis on exit poll data for the 2010 Senatorial Election and then examines predictors of Senatorial candidate sets. Hypotheses are proposed based on theories and evidence that name recall has important consequences in voter decision-making under low information circumstances, and that media celebrities and members of political dynasties benefit from the name recall vote. Findings support predictions that voters put media celebrities and members of national political dynasties together often on a ballot and that the voters who are likely to operate with little information are more likely to vote for these candidates. These are voters with low education and low income, who live in rural areas, and who exhibit high abstention rates.


Article:  News Frames of the Population Issue in the Philippines

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Erika Fille Tupas Legara, Jenna Mae Atun, Christopher P. Monterola

Publication title: International Journal of Communication 8(1):1247-1267, January 2014


Using automated semantic network analysis, this study examines media framing of the population issue in the Philippines through the different labels used to refer to it in public discourse. The population issue has been relabeled and repackaged in legislation and other policy documents. This article examines how each relabeling of the issue was reflected in the media. Analysis of news articles published from 1987 to 2007 reveals that word clusters around each label reflect strategic framing of the terms population control, population management, family planning, reproductive health, responsible parenthood, and pro-life. Whereas population control and population management are associated with developmental and economic goals, reproductive health and family planning are more linked with women's and youth's health issues. The terms responsible parenthood and pro-life are mostly identified with the Catholic Church, with the latter more identified with positions on abortion and contraception.


Article: ICTs in political engagement among youth in the Philippines

Authors: Clarissa C. David

Publication title: International Communication Gazette 75(3): 322-337, April 2013


Political engagement among young activists in the Philippines has changed since new media technologies have gained critical mass. This article reports on how engagement has been redefined by the young and how information and communication technologies (ICTs) have contributed to the amplification of their voices in political life. Activists and ordinary youth were interviewed through unstructured individual and group conversations, and they were asked about their definitions of political, civic, and social engagement. The expression of opinions online is highly valued as a political activity and is believed to be a politically consequential action. Young activists strategically use ICTs and social networks to gather support for their causes and to gain the attention of the traditional media and politicians.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Framing in Legislation: The Case of Population Policy in the Philippines

 Authors: Clarissa C. David, Jenna Mae Atun, Antonio G.M. La Viña

Publication title: Population Research and Policy Review 31(2):297-319, April 2012


This paper investigates the political framing of population in policy discourse through an analysis of legislative documents. Semantic network analysis was conducted and results were interpreted through discourse analysis of the typical arguments identified. Policy texts were classified into three sets: population management, reproductive health and family planning, and anti-abortion and anti-FP. While the “population management” frame focuses on social and economic consequences of population growth, the “reproductive health” frame defines the problem from a health perspective. Both policies propose aggressive FP programs but each frame uses distinct political rhetoric and semantic approach in its arguments. The “anti-abortion and anti-FP” frame identifies two problems: rise in incidence of abortion and existing policy that prohibit health professionals from refusing patients information on contraception. By invoking a moral argument and anchoring on rights, these policies challenge the problem and solutions identified by the first two frames.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Finding Frames: Comparing Two Methods of Frame Analysis

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Jenna Mae Atun, Erika Fille Tupas Legara, Christopher Monterola

Publication title: Communication Methods and Measures 5(4): 329-351, December 2011


Detecting media frames has spawned a variety of methods, but very little has been done to investigate whether these methods provide comparable results. This article compares the results of two kinds of human coding framing analysis. The first is a method developed by Matthes and Kohring (2008) involving human coding of elements based on Entman's (1993) definition of frames, and the second coding is based on an extracted set of frames. Cluster analysis of news articles on population published from 1987–2007 in the Philippines yielded an optimum number of three communities or frames that agree with the holistic predetermined frames. Results indicate support for the validity of both procedures. Methodological implications are further discussed.


Article: Framing the population debate: A comparison of source and news frames in the Philippines

Authors: Clarissa C. David, Jenna Mae Atun, Antonio G.M. La Vina

Publication title: Asian Journal of Communication 20(3):337-353, September 2010


This study compares frames constructed by two sides of the Philippine population management debate with media frames of the issue. Analysis was conducted through neural network analysis with the CatPac computer program. On the one hand, supporters of the policy use a ‘development frame’ which defines population as a problem borne out of people having large families; it is argued that unchecked population growth negatively impacts on development outcomes such as education and income. In the development frame, the proposed solution is to institute a population management policy that promotes family planning (contraceptive use) to help Filipinos achieve their desired family size. Opponents on the other hand use two frames, one which equates the policies with abortion, and another which argues that such policies will lead to a degradation of moral values. Results delineate the competing frames from both sides and show that the media frame reflects both views, but that the discourse is presented as conflict.

Article: Learning Political Information From the News: A Closer Look at the Role of Motivation

Authors: Clarissa C. David

Publication title: Journal of Communication 59(2), June 2009


This paper investigates how motivations that drive news use affect the process of learning political information from the news. A model that traces the influence of motivational factors on following news about general public affairs is proposed. Tests conducted with nationally representative surveys revealed that motivations for following general public affairs in the news are conceptually and empirically distinct. Results showed that certain psychological needs drive motivations toward following general news, and that various types of motives have independent effects on exposure and attention to news. Finally, we found that motivations have significant indirect effects on knowledge about politics. Implications on theoretical developments in political knowledge and learning are discussed.

Full text available upon request to the author


Article: Intergroup Attitudes and Policy Support: How Prejudice against Minority Groups Affects Support for Public Policies

Authors: Clarissa C. David

Publication title: International Journal of Public Opinion Research 21(1), March 2009


It is natural for humans to identify themselves with groups and use these group memberships as key self-identification mechanisms (Brewer & Miller, 1996). Such groups are important for social cohesion and support (Nelson, 2002). However, the existence of groups also introduces problems and negative behaviors because people will favor members of their own groups (ingroups) over those from other groups (outgroups; Allport, 1954; Hamilton, 1976; Ostrom & Sedikides, 1992). Social identity theory posits that people's conception of self is derived, in significant part, from the social groups and categories in which they belong (Hogg & Reid, 2006). Prejudice against “outgroup members” are often based on irrational and illogical reasons, and yet many educated and intelligent people continue to harbor such attitudes (Brewer, 1979; Nelson, 2002). Outgroup members are stereotyped, discriminated against, and marginalized (Hogg & Reid, 2006), and in the immediate past, religion, particularly Islam, has emerged as a category that is subject to increasing “outgroup prejudice” all over the world (Hussain, 2000; Weller, 2006).

Liberal democratic ideals support equality and equal protection under the law, regardless of race, gender, or religion. Historically, however, there are instances when government policies support discrimination, or are guided by discriminatory tendencies among the public. Thus, the very government that professes to protect all people equally, at times—through policy—worsens prejudicial practices. If a majority of the public holds prejudicial attitudes against minority groups (based on group differences such as religion), and those attitudes directly affect opinions about support for policy proposals in line with prejudicial opinions, then a government that follows public opinion may end up institutionalizing policies that perpetuate discriminatory practices. This study, guided by ideas in social identity theory and self-categorization theory, examines the influence of individual beliefs in negative stereotypes on one's propensity to discriminate and the effects of both on support for aggressive government policy approaches to address religion-based conflict. It also examines the effect of reliance on media for information about minority groups on prejudice and discrimination.

The Philippine experience with conflict in its Southern region, where many Filipino Muslims reside, provides a context for this study. This country has been the site of continued armed conflict with the Moro front, which—some research argues—began and continues because of the marginalization and minoritization of the Filipino Islamic population (Santos, 2005).