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.

In 450 Words: 70+ days under President Duterte

For the past six years, I’ve mostly opposed the prior disposition – especially when it comes to its policies and plans that were either not implemented (Laguna Lakeshore project, for example) or were poorly implemented. The prior disposition were also obsessed with payback (the 2012 impeachment proceedings against former Chief justice Renato Corona and various actions directed towards various political opponents).

To be honest, I did not vote for Rodrigo Duterte. But once all the votes were counted and validated, it dawned to me that people want change – especially change from what is seen as normal and expected in Philippine politics. Now that change is here, I can say that things are going better than expected: there is less crime, hundreds of thousands of drug users and dealers have surrendered, people are becoming more confident about the leaders running the country, people’s perception on government and governance has improved, and so on. Not only that, his plans and policies outlined in the State of the Nation Address and other events are signs that better things for us Filipinos are on the way. Being pragmatic, I can say that they can be feasible.

Similar to other leaders, there are some downsides to his presidency, like the appointment of certain persons in various offices and departments and extrajudicial killings that are linked to the president’s campaign against drugs and criminality (but are mostly done by third parties like vigilantes, people involved in drug deals gone wrong), and so on. There are other things that he has to deal with, including but not limited to alleged human rights violations done during police operations, partisan elements in Philippine media, criticisms coming from the Liberal party (which is now in the opposition after six years in power) and other organizations and various foul ups.

Compared to the first 70 or so days under Benigno Aquino III, Rodrigo Duterte did a better job of running the ship and was decisive in handling the first major crisis under his watch (the Roxas Night market bombing in Davao last September 2).

I believe that he’s better off not caring about trivialities like Senator Leila de Lima’s love life and focus on things that truly matter like peace and order campaigns, fixing our relationships with other littoral states lining the disputed territorial waters of the Philippines and finding long-term solutions for various challenges, improving bilateral and multilateral relationships with other countries and organizations, having a better system of governance and creation of a new basic law, removing or modifying outdated legislature to encourage socio-economic growth and development for all Filipinos, peace talks with various insurgent groups and their re-integration into mainstream Philippine society, more desirable public infrastructure and more citizen involvement in government.

Pilipinas parang Airstrip One

Yesterday, I bought George Orwell’s 1984 from a bookshop in San Pablo. Compared to its original price, the book that I bought was dirt cheap. Too bad that most Filipinos only give a shit about romance novels, athletes, so-called celebrities and other distractions.

The book 1984 is about a member of the Outer Party who eventually dabbled with various kinds of rebellion (one example of it is to have sex for the sake of sex, which is illegal) having to the point that he got snitched on by his “closest contacts”. If you’re going to buy the book or look for the ebook, which is clandestinely distributed in some countries due to copyright laws, then you’ll probably understand the next set of paragraphs.

Oceania is similar to the Philippines while “Big Brother” is just a figurehead. In reality, BB is just a puppet of the Inner Party. The Inner Party represents the ones who have the power – the oligarch scum that is known to distort facts and waste people just to keep their asses in power. Winston Smith represents the government officials who are either disgruntled with the current regime or powerless citizens who claim that they can’t do anything about it. The proles are the “masa”, who are distracted by prolefeed, various stuff that the regime and its lackeys produce. Some members of the masa provide “distraction” to other members of the masses (go figure). Continue reading

Brand new Boss

Last Wednesday, I was watching the inauguration in a friend’s house (and dropped cuss words on promises that he intends to break and actions that are  potentially vindictive). Even though many people are starstruck and hypnotized by President Benigno Simeon Cojuanco Aquino III’s promise of no sirens, no convoys, no “justice without reconciliation”, no godfathers, no grease money, “Kayo ang boss ko“, and various reiterations of his campaign promises, I’m not buying it. And he mentioned his parents a couple of times. Though it is good to acknowledge them, it would be better for him if he would concentrate in creating his own legacy. Anyway, here is my list of suggestions that His Excellency must read ad act upon, if ever.

  1. He should have more political will and engage in less vindictive motives. Let the Truth commission investigate the abuses of power – not only from the Arroyo era, but also the Ramos, Estrada, Marcos and Cory Aquino eras. (If they fail to expose the corrupt practices during the Cory era and prosecute the personalities behind it, then I have the right to call the Truth Commission a witchhunt committee).
  2. When choosing a song to perform, avoid love ballads, emo songs and songs that glorify losers, like Estudyante Blues. Go rap Me Against the World by 2Pac (specifically the part that mentions Politicians and Hypocrites) or perform a Francis M. song.
  3. Unleash hell on drivers that clog our streets, especially public utility vehicles that carry little passengers cruising recklessly at 90 kilometers per hour, potentially endangering lives and property. Better yet, ride a bicycle. That will save Malacañang a shitload of pesos – if you insist in your current abode.
  4. And while you’re at it, give up smoking and encourage more Filipinos to use bicycles when commuting (infrastructure, awareness).
  5. Flip a bird on your relatives, especially on she-who-cannot-be-named-by-Lourd-de-Veyra and on your handlers. Tell them that “I am the President and you have no right to fuck up my life”. Make the Kamaganaks feel unwelcome in the Palace.
  6. Be open to suggestions and listen to the opposition and the independents, not just loyal partymates.
  7. Leave your economics professor alone and let the plan to amend the Constitution either die or thrive, depending on the mood of our Congress. (If I was the President, I would allow her to lead the movement to amend the Constitution, provided that it amends the onerous provisions that hold back our economy from further growth and development. Nothing more, nothing less)
  8. Sustain the 35+ quarters of economic growth though a thorough review of his predecessor’s economic policies and adaptation of new ones, provided that it enhances our growth instead of hindering it).
  9. Leave the internet alone (or better yet, make a 25 megabyte broadband internet connection a basic human right for non-jejemon Filipinos who do not camwhore).
  10. Enforce old laws instead of creating new ones. Streamline the bureaucracy, make it transparent and discourage businesspersons and government officials from engaging in corrupt practices.
  11. Turn government-owned and operated broadcast entities into dispensers of Philippine culture and guardians of democracy, not just propaganda machines.
  12. Solve the Muslim and Communist insurgencies – not only through force, but also with local government units, non-government organizations, rebel returnees and the people affected by years of fighting.
  13. Encourage more inter-regional trade and strictly enforce transportation laws. Amend our antiquated traffic laws (increasing the national speed limit from 80 kilometers per hour to 100 kilometers per hour).
  14. Make this government an e-democracy. Strike out 93% of Section 176 [RA 8293].
  15. Encourage Filipinos to become more productive and more progressive persons. Exercise political will without being vindictive. Change our culture of mediocrity by not doing/saying the things that hinder the growth of the future generations – and our nation-state (Teaching them the wrong thing, threatening them with something severe or whimsical). Discourage sheepish obedience and conformity and don’t fall into the trap of populism. When you say it, you should mean it. If you don’t, then we’ll piss you off.

Other than that, I wish you good luck in your stint in the Palace. You’ll need lots of it. And don’t forget to cover your mouth while you cough.