Now that Mocha Uson has resigned from the Philippine government, she will be free do do what she does best — entertain and influence the Filipino masses. Freed from the “conventions” demanded of government officials, Uson will be able to shape her role in Philippine society based on what suits her and her followers best. See, the trouble with the Philippine Opposition is that they focused their criticism on how “properly” Uson complied with the behavioural code of government. But in focusing on that negative campaign against her, they failed to put forth a competitive alternative to brand Mocha Uson.
Now that Uson is free to be herself, she is free to consolidate and expand her influence on Philippine politics and on Filipino society as a whole. We do not know yet if she will be using that freedom and influence to continue to support the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. However, the more important thing to note is that the Opposition led by the prayerful members of the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) will still not be in a position to compete with Uson. If Uson (perhaps unfairly expected of her) continues her work supporting Duterte — this time as a private citizen — then the Opposition are in trouble. They will be facing an even more formidable media force.
|SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Mocha Uson will not just be an unconstrained inlfuencer, she will also be free to pursue a personal agenda — something she will most definitely have the social media clout to succeed at. Indeed, many of her supporters are already speculating that her resignation is a prelude to a run for the Senate. Whatever the case, the world is Mocha Uson’s oyster at the moment. She is leaving Malacanang battle-hardened by flak that is, really, par for the course of being a government official. More importantly, however, she is leaving with much of her vast influence over the Philippine electorate largely intact. If this is “good news” to the Yellowtards (as they have, following the breaking of news of her resignation, been crowing), it just means they remain, true to form, incapable of thinking that far ahead.
Seen from a higher vantage point, this latest development only serves to further highlight just how ill-equipped the Yellowtards are to compete in a political race that is ramping up. The fact that Uson’s resignation is both bad news and good news to the Yellowtards is because they are sorely lacking in capability to capitalise on any setback the Duterte administration supposedly suffers. If Uson was, as they insist, a “loss” to the Duterte administration, that does not necessarily translate to a gain on their part. They merely won an imaginary “moral” battle that does not translate to any political advantage to any of the politicians they are fielding for the upcoming elections in 2019.
The failure of the Yellowtard-led Opposition is very fundamental in this instance. In a campaign to demonise Uson with the intent to force her out of office, the Yellowtards again failed to answer an important question: What next? This is an oversight that recurs in any campaign they mount — whether it is the next street rally, the next boycott, or the next trial-by-media. They seek to oust but think nothing of proposing an alternative pathway. Here, we see a rare case of the Yellowtards realising a goal. Uson is now out of Malacanang. Some of the Yellowtards are cheering this result. The trouble is, they have no idea what happens next.
In actual fact, Mocha Uson may be out of Malacanang (the shortsighted goal of the Yellowtards) but she is, by no means, a neturalised force (the long view the Yellowtards lost sight of). Back in the early days of the Duterte presidency, I wrote that Uson is one of those rare beasts — an antifragile that only gets stronger the more you attack it.
Mocha Uson is a good example of an antifragile personality. You can’t destroy her using traditional Filipino mudslinging and slut-shaming methods because there is no dirt you can dig up about her that she hasn’t already laid on the table for public consumption. The important thing about influence that the “disente” crowd fail to appreciate is that her mass appeal was actually built upon the very dirt that her detractors foolishly throw at her. She was, after all, a sexy star — and built her now-formidable following around that persona — before she became a political force.
The Yellowtard-led Opposition, in essence, chose an unwinnable battle when they trained their quaint shrieks on Uson’s person.
…a lot of big guns being aimed at the wrong targets. The Opposition (and I refer to them with that one word for brevity’s sake) [had] wasted a lot of time (1) going after low-value targets and (2) fighting unwinnable battles.
Mocha Uson happens to be both — a low-value target and an unbeatable force. An Opposition effort to tangle with her suffers a double defeat — there is no ideological territory of consequence to plant a flag on and there is no beating her just on numbers and mass appeal alone. When you are the Opposition and you go up against Mocha Uson, you end up in a futile shooting match with Doomsday — that big beast at the end of the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that simply grows stronger the more you zap it with any sort of weapon that works by discharging energy.
Here, the term “low value” is not meant to diminish Uson in any way. The term is used in the context of how much it really means to the Yellowtards to “beat” Mocha Uson. It becomes evident today, now that the Yellowtards “succeeded” in their campaign to remove Uson from Malacanang, that there really was nothing in it that contributes to their ability to win elections or seize power. It was just a moral victory on their part (and their part alone). Uson is what Uson is. To the Yellowtards she was “evil” and “immoral”. Now that this “evil” and “immorality” had been removed, the Yellowtards cheer the new rung they had climbed in their quest for their ultimate in moral ascendancy (whatever that standard might be). Not much else has been won, however — certainly not much as far as an ability to win in the coming elections, or the next one.
Whilst the Yellowtards come out of this win essentially empty-handed, Malacanang has not lost much and Uson has everything to gain from hereon. The bottomline, yet again, is that the only losers in this new equation are, as always, the Yellowtards and, by transitivity, the broader Philippine Opposition.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.