Now that former Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson is a private citizen, she can start blogging. Like a real blogger. Just like that other one who’s been styled by no less than Rappler and its community of Jesuit- and nun-educated cheerleaders as the preeminent blogger of the Philippine Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards). The winner will be the Filipino audience who get front-row seats to a brilliant match of wits over the Net. Jover Laurio blogs and Mocha Uson blogs. Who’s gonna win? That remains to be seen. But the lines are drawn and pens and keyboards are locked and loaded.
In an ambush interview following her resignation from government service, Uson issued the first battle cry. “Bakbakan na talaga ‘to!“. We still have to hear from The Yellowtard Blogger. Is she up to the challenge?
The more interesting question is, how deep a bench of political bloggers do the Yellowtards wield. Is Jover all they’ve got? In basketball-crazy Philippines, depth of bench is an important factor to consider when placing bets. Even more interesting, the Yellowtards have designated Twitter as their battlefield…
Is this a smart move? Compared to Twitter, Facebook, where Uson is queen, is the preferred platform for political discussion amongst Filipino Netizens. In terms of engagement and referral traffic, a Facebook post is at least ten times as valuable as a tweet byte-for-byte. Twitter is also known to be an echo chamber of the private school village-raised elite minority of Philippine society. This can be seen in the way elite stuff largely irrelevant to the masses (UAAP games, university rivalries, SJW causes, etc.) easily “trend”. As such, Twitter chatter has long proven to be an unreliable cross-section of the general sentiment of the Filipino public.
This is the trouble with the Yellowtards and the broader Philippine Opposition that follows their lead like sheep. Rather than understand the enemy, they prefer to assure themselves in their quaint love-in soirees that theirs is the superior and morally-upstanding force and intent. In being so focused on the imagined ascendancy of their lot, they routinely underestimate who and what they’re up against — just like they did back in 2016 when then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte came out of left field to seize Imperial Manila from the Liberal Party.
The Opposition will do well to consider what their next move will be and not underestimate what Uson is now capable of now that she is free of the conventions demanded of her when she was part of the Malacanang team. One obvious step is to ditch the Yellowtards and the choir of fallen saints they habitually worship. In doing so, the Opposition will become less of an insult to the intelligence of the Philippine electorate and more of the respectable Opposition Filipinos deserve — one that is a productive part of the modern democracy Filipinos aspire to build.
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