Haven’t seen much of President Rodrigo Duterte’s most loyal ally, former singer Mocha Uson, lately? Well, there’s plenty of her going around on Twitter after she criticized Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on her Facebook page for wanting to use tricycles to transport healthcare workers and patients during the monthlong Luzon-wide lockdown
A post written on her page yesterday called Sotto “pabebe,” a colloquial term that means “childish,” but is basically the equivalent of calling the mayor a baby.
“This is what I’m saying, why can other cities do it, but this Mayor Sotto is [such a] child? Let’s talk about this tomorrow. I will explain why Sotto’s childishness is a fail. But my appeal to the DILG, why are you the one pleading with the Mayor? Apply the LAW and be strict even without a PANDEMIC,” the post, written by a certain Admin Banat, said in English and Filipino.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles yesterday rejected an appeal from Sotto to allow tricycles to ferry health workers and patients too and from hospitals during the quarantine, saying that adequate social distancing cannot be followed inside the cramped vehicles. Sotto had made the request on the basis that Pasig is already using all of its government vehicles and will not be able to service thousands of people who need to get to their destinations.
It does little for Uson’s case that Sotto often posts on social media about his many efforts to help his constituents deal with the quarantine, making him somewhat of a folk hero among netizens. The measures include allowing health care workers to use the city’s bikes, setting up sanitation tents outside the city’s hospitals, distributing some PHP160 million (US$3,126,652) worth of food packs and vitamins to residents, and offering free rides to workers.
Uson’s attacks against Sotto may explain why #ProtectVico became the number one trending topic on the Philippines’ Twitter today.
User @TitaFeny scolded Uson, saying she “just changed the definition of pabebe by calling Vico Sotto as such,” then proceeded to list steps the mayor has taken in the last week that, in Uson’s apparent estimation, could be described as childish. “PROACTIVE,” the user concluded.
Mocha Uson just changed the definition of pabebe by calling Vico Sotto as such:
Pabebe – Ordered drones to disinfect the city
Pabebe – installed mobile kitchens for health workers
Pabebe – installed sanitation tents
Pabebe – 400K food packs for residents
Pabebe – PROACTIVE
— Fear Not My Child (@TitaFaney) March 19, 2020
Uson, who is actually a deputy administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (ironically), tried to clear herself from the online scandal by tweeting an “FYI” this afternoon.
Dubbed by her critics as “The Queen of Fake News,” Uson said that Mocha Uson Blog, the Facebook page named after her, is now authored by different bloggers and admins — whom she promptly and remorselessly threw under the bus.
“We practice free speech though we differ in opinions on different matters. So, saying that I am against VICO SOTTO is FAKE NEWS since it was posted by another admin. I hope this clears everything,” the 37-year-old former entertainer wrote. She also posted a screenshot of the original post that irked people, circling the name of the admin who supposedly posted it.
“I think you just called your blog fake news,” User @lokiimanzano observed.
Director @kipoebanda reacted to Uson’s defensive statement by writing, “Remember kids, wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds. And if you can, wash your mouth too when the internet crushes you. Are you surprised Mocha, we have lots of time.”
Remember kids, wash your hands frequently for 20 secs. At kung kaya, wash your mouth na rin kapag dinurog ka ng internet. Ano, gulat kayo Mocha, may time kami haha #ProtectVico pic.twitter.com/MfWLNPpyGG
— Kip Oebanda (@kipoebanda) March 19, 2020