I just came back from a week-long conference which unintentionally made me absent on my social media accounts. Except for a couple of pics, some FB check-ins, and brief moments of browsing, I was out of touch. So when a colleague asked me if it was true that Mocha Uson was running for Senator, I was not aware and asked her to check which media outfit published the news. She read the FB post from CNN Philippines which I said then it is probably true.

In the end, I told her that it was probably a political tactic of checking the winnability of Mocha as a Senator. A means by which a name is floated and then observed for the reactions of the people at the receiving end. I never really took much of it because, one, I am not a fan of Mocha and neither am I interested with her, and two, I do not simply care – I support the President and it does not necessarily follow that I support ALL of his officials.

Yes, that is possible.

It never dawned on me how much this affected some of my FB friends when my FB and Twitter timelines were bombarded by Pro and Anti Mocha sentiments as soon as I stepped out of the plane. It has come to a point that I muted a friend’s posts because of her anti-Mocha posts, not because I supported Mocha but because I just had enough of it.

I was not interested in Mocha Uson.

Interestingly, more information are trickling in that she was not running and she did not take any oath with the said party. There are also clarifications that a Senator-wannabe and member of the current administration’s info team was clarifying his statement and that he claims he was misquoted on the issue. Whether it be a shift on the idea or fake news, things are getting clearer now.

A quick point though that this issue have clearly shown is the power within Mocha Uson. Whether people admit it or not, Mocha Uson is a power to reckon with in social media. Her breadth and scope goes beyond the people who support her and transcends to even those who hate her. It has come to a point that even I, who have no interest in her, is writing this blog entry about her.

If you still do not get it, Mocha Uson’s power lies in the reaction and interaction that she gets with her social media presence. The name of the game in social media is reach and influence. With millions of followers, she definitely has the reach. Their reaction, your reaction, and even my reaction, through this post, counts as her influence. It does not matter whether you agree or disagree with her. What matters is that she has the reach and that she has influenced you to react. That is the name of the game of social media. Inadvertently, we are making her effective in the government post that she is in.

If there was any grain of truth to her running for the position of a senator, let it be. As far as I know, the Philippine Constitution gives her the liberty to do so. She has the same right as anyone to run for a government office, in the same way that you have the right to influence others not to vote for her.

Now voting for her is entirely a different story for me. I have to agree that she can run for office but giving her my vote will require a lot of thinking and re-thinking. Again, it is something that I am keen on NOT doing. If she does run for office, I have to agree that giving the public an educated discussion as to her merits and qualifications be the key focus of the discussion rather than lambasting her for her personal convictions and her past.

It does not help that some people inadvertently create a victim out of Mocha. Remember that the current sentiments are with the pro-Duterte bloggers after the unmasking of prominent FB personalities from the other side of the fence. The unmasking has proven one thing… that they were right all along with the accusations against these anti-Duterte bloggers and their associations. The truths that were revealed strengthened the hold of Mocha Uson to her followers. A funny and interesting observation after the “unmasking” was the mellowing down of the anti-Duterte bloggers. They were not as hard-hitting nowadays compared to the times when they were anonymous.

Mocha Uson is Mocha Uson. Whether we like it or not, she is a popular and a well-received persona in the Duterte administration. You may not like her but she is loved by many, judging from the number of followers that she currently enjoys. If she decides to run, she may also turn out to be a force to reckon with, come election time. Stop bullying her because the favour is with her at this time. In the end, she might rise up a hero because you keep on putting her down.

Again, I do not care about her BUT I care for my country.