Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mocha Uson as Assistant Press Secretary

The highly public uproar against the appointment of Mocha Uson as Assistant Press secretary just reflects how, even in the Digital age, our Country is still clearly divided along socio-economic and cultural lines.

There is really a cultural divide--the first halve belongs to those whose consciousness is urbane while the other, those whose consciousness is clearly formed by their direct experience living in the rustic and backwaters of even urban cities. There are people who belong to the "urbanidad" and tries to compare our mores with those of the West while the other, those who are outside the "urbanidad" sphere and who have formed their own interpretation of Reality based on their collective experiences.

Mocha is being judged by her past, a past which is clearly not acceptable to most people. There are people who are opposing her appointment based on clear cut standards like her previous involvement in Communications-related disciplines, like journalism, perhaps.

Let's fuse together these two concepts and assess whether Mocha Uson truly deserves the post she was appointed.

Many people think that government positions should not be treated as sinicures. For many, government appointments are serious ones. Government is tasked with forming policies which impacts not just the lives of the present, but even in the future. And by the very oath which these appointees bound themselves with, their allegiance is with the Filipino People, not with the appointive Power. Meaning, those appointees owe their positions to those who appointed them, the minute they serve government, they now are entrusted with the full resources of government by the people. The people expect these people not to toy with their monies--they expect them to do their best for the welfare of the Filipino People--their true masters.

Having said this, what now was the basis of President Duterte for appointing Mocha Uson? Let's analyze.

1. Uson's appointment is Communications-related. Mocha finished a nursing degree. BY profession, Mocha is a singer-dancer. Okey, Uson probably got some Communications-related courses when she was still studying nursing at the University of Santo Tomas.

Or, just maybe our dearly beloved president thought that the Communications office is very ill, and it needs a nurse. So, Mr. Duterte wants nothing more than give Mr. Martin Andanar and Mr. Abella some nursing care courtesy of Mocha Uson.

2. Mocha Uson has 3 million online followers. As a veteran of PR, this figure should be checked. How many of these 3 million are bots? We don't know. Everyone knows that online figures can be manipulated, the very same way, numbers of cellphone users can. Do you know there are about 80 million Filipinos using phones? Our population is about 101 million. About 75% are between the ages of 18-45 years old. Or just place it at 50 million registered voters. About 30 million more Filipinos own two or more phones.

Anyway, this is probably one of the President's reasons for appointing Mocha Uson. Undeniably, she is a popular online personality. The problem is, Communication involves traditional and outdoor media. Uson once accused media outlets of being biased and of being "Presstitutes."

Now, she is expected to deal with these "presstitutes" and the country expects her to communicate what is currently happening in our government. Now, how would Mocha Uson accomplish her tasks without directly dealing with these "presstitutes" as what she described the working media sector before? How then? If Uson then now uses traditional media, which she accused of being biased, how sure is she that the information she now gives thru traditional media will turn out as unbiased?

I dare our dear Asst secretary not to deal with the "presstitutes". Probably invent other platforms where she can deal with?

3. Mocha is being accused of being a purveyor of false information. The reason they are false information is these information does not reflect reality and are figments of someone's wild imagination. There are many instances where Uson did just that.

Now that she is now an official of the government, Uson has all the resources she needs to populate our public sphere with information from her imaginative mind. Do we need such a person this time? Yes. Why? Well, a Mocha Uson could easily twist figures to say there are no extra judicial killings in our society, that tourists are still safe to go to the Philippines and enjoy their vacation, that Filipinos are not experiencing economic hardships and many Filipinos are smiling every time they receive their electricity and water bills.

It's called "re-imagination." Being a former sex therapist, Mocha's imagination is what this administration needs in order to arrest the declining trust of the people behind Duterte. For this reason alone, Uson deserves the post.