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Some thoughts on Mocha Uson

Mocha Uson has been a subject of controversy since the early part of the current decade. Before, she was known for more risqué content involving sex and sexuality. Nowadays, she’s under fire for being an ardent supporter of President Duterte and being untrustworthy for sharing fake(d) news, among other things.

Uson explicitly mentioned in her Facebook page’s about section that she is not a journalist but an ordinary Filipino. Her right to say whatever she wants on her platforms is constitutionally protected under Article 3, Section 4 of the current basic law[1]. This section also protects our freedom of speech and freedom of expression, subject to certain limitations.

I have no problems about her recent past, no matter how raunchy (or in some cases, degenerate) it was. I also do not have problems with her partisanship since she’s not in an industry, company or institution where people that are part of it are expected to be non-partisan and objective. Heck, she can as biased as she can be, similar to how some notable newsmakers like actors, sports figures, musicians and entertainers in the United States are rooting for either Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or in some cases, Gary Johnson in the race for the White House.

However, I have issues with people promoting and sharing stuff from dodgy news sites. Not just from Mocha Uson’s Facebook page. There are fan pages both locally and internationally pushing this mostly inane and inaccurate nonsense. In the case of Mocha’s blog, there’s a mix of legit and not-so-legit sites that her blog links to. She sometimes reposts articles from mainstream news sites (aka “the bias[ed] ones”) on her page for the benefit of internet users who are relying on Facebook for their daily dose of news (an example can be found here). Since the Duterte administration came to power, she also shares accomplishments and feats from various government departments and offices like the Social Welfare and Development department under Judy Taguiwalo.

Not all Facebook pages and profiles are like that, obviously. If they post stuff like that, call them out, even if some guy thinks that we need some laughter by sharing such fiction. (That means you, bruh.)

Now that she is writing a weekly opinion column in the Philippine Star starting this Tuesday[2], we should remember the popularized adage: “With great power comes great responsibility”.

UPDATE: While revising this entry, it appears that Regina Belmonte, daughter of one of the owners of the Philippine Star, is not pleased with its decision. Ms. Uson pointed out in her reply to Ms. Belmonte that the former is not a journalist, which was previously mentioned earlier in this post. Uson added that she “will still be grateful for being considered to write and express the cry of the ordinary people” if the newspaper decided not to push through its plans for her. I’m not surprised that such a reaction occurred, especially coming from a millennial member of the Philippine elite. If Max Soliven were alive, he’d probably drop some sanamagan bombs on Regina. Maybe on Mocha. Or both. May the truth continue to prevail.

ASIDE: I (re-)discovered Oscar Franklin Tan’s articles while doing my research on her. He has more level-headed opinions concerning her compared to some of his peers in the mainstream media. I don’t agree with most of his points but his articles, which are published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (and Facebook page) are worth checking out.

 


[1] The said section states that “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
[2] I prefer the said paper over other broadsheets because of its more objective treatment of news stories and its caliber of columnists. I’m no fan of some of its current and former columnists like Billy Esposo, Teddy Casiño and some people in the lifestyle sections. But it’s a trade off that goes along with the things that I encounter from day to day.

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