Mocha Uson elicits a consistently predictable reaction from President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics: disdain. No surprise then that her appointment as part of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has kept the social media class busy for a while now.
The main criticism from the “decent” crowd – private citizens and members of mainstream media included – is that Mocha is unqualified for such a key government post. The bag is generally mixed: some say it is because her background, a past associated with being a sexy starlet and releasing raunchy material, discredits her. Others say it is because of her reputation as “a purveyor of lies, fake news, blatant propaganda, and personal attacks against critics – both of hers and Duterte’s”. Yet others mention that she doesn’t have the appropriate credentials for a media office.
What a lot of people aren’t saying outright, however, is that she offends a lot of people’s “decent” sensibilities.
Duterte critics – most vocal and ferocious among them supporters of the remnants of the Liberal Party (LP) – are ones to talk about “qualifications”. Even if you don’t consider just how incompetent the LP has been in their stint as the dominant political force, Filipinos generally wouldn’t know “qualified” and “deserving” even if it bit them in the ass. Unfortunately, Filipinos collectively comprise a nation of unintelligent, starstruck ignoramuses, in no small part thanks to the influence of mainstream media in the past few decades.
Having a large number of followers is credential enough in the Philippines; as a side note, this is something the current crop of “activists” does not seem to understand fully. Filipinos harp on popularity as a source of validity when to their advantage. They discredit and sour-grape when it’s not.
Duterte critics are also ones to talk about Mocha’s being “a source of propaganda and fake news, and an instigator of personal attacks against critics”. The particular thing about the loud rattling noise mess that the opposition has become, is that while they recognize what dastardly things the pro-administration camp does, they refuse to admit that the entities they’ve put on a pedestal are pretty much guilty of the same things at one time or another. It is immaterial that entities like the LP are not the dominant force anymore; their supporters can’t pretend that their side is clean, when it clearly has not been. At the same time, the mainstream media that has largely been sympathetic to the LP has aided in the propagation of propaganda, fake news, and unsolicited opinion passed off as news, in the past.
It must burn really hard, for media outfits like Rappler, to see Mocha Uson, and realize that the kind of cock-sucking they’ve been doing hasn’t really gotten them ahead.
As I keep saying over and over, for the anti-Duterte camp to raise its credibility, it must totally disown the LP-tards among them. Otherwise, they will always be bogged down by the lack of credibility and weight of the LP.
Critics of Mocha’s appointment can whine all they want about other people being more qualified, or her not having a communication arts degree, but in the end, it’s whatever works. Whether or not you agree with Mocha, it can’t be argued that what she says resonates with a whole lot of people.
As it currently stands, no one among Duterte’s critics stands out like Mocha Uson does, and has a social media following as large as hers. It is perhaps the breadth and reach of this following that Duterte sees fit to aid in fulfilling the mission of the PCOO:
To serve as the premier arm of the Executive Branch in engaging and involving the citizenry and the mass media in order to enrich the quality of public discourse on all matters of governance and build a national consensus thereon.
Whether the quality of public discourse will indeed be enriched remains unclear. It can be considered a small victory for the pro-Duterte camp, however, that more Filipinos feel “awakened” by the entry of Duterte into the national spotlight. One of the general sentiments since the start of his administration is, “we want to take back our country”. Another is, “kaya naman pala ang pagbabago (change is indeed possible)”.
As always, it’s up to Filipinos to think for themselves exactly how they plan to make change permanently work for them and their betterment.