MY Mocha is just a little bit faultless; well, almost perfect. My wife Sylvia hates it when I show interest for Mocha. Last week, we celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. On our way home from dinner, I had this urge to bring my Mocha home with us. She surprisingly agreed.
The closest from home where I can get my Mocha, also called mochachi or mocaccino, is the Blugre Café at the MTS, not Starbucks. My wife hates it when I sip this chocolate-flavored variant of a caffè latte. She says I’m already fat and recommends just plain Americano.
This column however is about the other Mocha. She has been raked over the coals lately that I thought I’d dive right in and try to put things in perspective.
I have never met Mocha Uson. I don’t have any personal knowledge of what she is other than what I read in social media. I don’t follow her in Facebook or twitter. I don’t even have a twitter account. So, this column is not a paean to her.
But I just hate it when the so-called literati and educated look down on people’s newfound status. I find certain commonalities with the young lady. We are both children of murdered fathers—both public servants whose assailants were never brought to justice. In some ways, I sympathize with this hardworking girl.
Mocha Uson’s stint early this year as a member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) drew a lot of reactions from netizens, fellow celebrities, and even from some government officials. But her appointment this week as assistant secretary really stirred a hornet’s nest. Offhand, there is no question as to the President’s prerogative to choose his people. The Deegong has already gone on record that he did it “…in payment of his debt of gratitude for her earlier support for his presidential bid…”; and by now we should know that PRRD gives premium to such loyalty.
PRRD appreciates the kind of expertise Mocha possesses which, by the way, no one among the President’s people can provide. The former “sexy dancer” as she is disparagingly referred to by the snooty, has broken through the traditional choices made by past presidents and that made her entry to the PRRD government blunt and unwelcomed. But she is closer to the female version of the Deegong, a person with common sense who understands the language of the masses, and all in all a political outsider with potential for public service.
The accusation of her lack of education is hogwash. She graduated from a leading Manila university and has a bachelor’s degree. We have a lot of highly educated public servants who have been caught with their sticky fingers in the government coffers. Enough of high-class education!
Political blogging draws networks together in a community that tackles as many diverse societal issues as there are bloggers. They can be very idiosyncratic and unavoidably readers are influenced by the partisanship of some very articulate ones. But this is the whole point of blogging where the readership is allowed instant intimacies fundamental to social media interaction in contrast to traditional media where interface with readers is staid and confined to “letters to the editor”. Bloggers like Mocha Uson inject subjectivity into the political conversation shaping arguments condensed from opinions of the readers.
Her political blog has been a popular online hub mainly because she speaks and writes the language not only of the millennials but of the ordinary person on the street. She is astute enough to strategically position herself on an issue extracting every ounce of advantage. When petitions demanded to close down her Facebook page, she plastered online her photo, gagged with a silver masking tape. She defiantly telegraphed the message that she will not be silenced defending the persona and the interests of the Deegong.
Her Palace appointment, however, is a double-edged one. As a high official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) she has been entrusted the sensitive job of communicating government programs and official presidential messages to the citizenry and even beyond through social media. Along with it, of course, comes the privileges, honors and recognition. Therein lies her difficulty. As a private blogger, she was free to say and print what was in her mind. She has been accused of concocting fake news in defense of the Deegong and like her sponsor, was also liberal with language often considered inappropriate.
There is a code of conduct that covers government officials (RA 6713) and she could be made liable for transgressions now that she has morphed from a private person to an official government employee. Her strength as a private blogger could be a bane as a government-paid publicist. Henceforth, she will be put under a microscope of severe political scrutiny not only by the detractors of the Deegong but even his own allies perhaps resentful of the ascendancy of one who was once a member of the “dancing entourage” of the presidential campaign.
And she could be vulnerable defending the President’s programs from the predictable attacks by traditional media. She can no longer label print media as “presstitutes” when they become critical of DU30s policies, especially in matters which the Deegong considers his very own personal advocacy—human rights and illegal drugs. But with reportedly about 5 million followers in her Facebook page, she has her back covered. So, let Mocha be Mocha!