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The government people deserve

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Former dancer and sexy star Margaux Mocha Uson, who has found her way into the graces of President Rodrigo Duterte as Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Office after joining the then Davao City mayor in his presidential campaign, is again at the center of a controversy. This time, she posted on social media a video with a friend on their supposed tweak in support of the proposed government shift from unitary presidential system federalism. The video of Mocha, who touts with her 3 million followers on social media, has since gone viral as it showed blogger Drew Olivar, Mocha’s co-host in Good News Game Show, singing and dancing while making alleged vulgar gestures pointed to “pepe” and “dede” to raise awareness about federalism. "Pepe" is a Filipino word for the female reproductive organ while "dede" is a Filipino term for breast. In the same online show, Olivar read a script defining federalism and enumerating the countries that adopted it but some of them are not into federalism.


The song and dance number was roundly criticized by netizens, lawmakers, and even members of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the federal Constitution, particularly San Beda Graduate School of Law Dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino for being “inappropriate.” Fr. Aquino said there was no need for “advertisers” of federalism but “mentors, pedagogues, instructors, tutors and lecturers” to explain it. Among the viral video’s critics were Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and Senator Panfilo Lacson who said the proposed Charter change to federalism “is just waiting to be cremated” and Rep. Edgar Erice who said Cha-cha is “dead,” thanks to Mocha Uson. One subordinate of Mocha, the chief of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), even went on to say that Mocha should take a leave of absence.


Despite the storm of criticism, Mocha stood her ground pointing out that her video, which she claimed was not official but personal, saying there was not malice in it and, in fact, helped somehow in creating added awareness to the federalism proposal. While Mocha’s boss, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar readily disclaimed Mocha’s video, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Mocha may have had the best intentions but added that federalism should be explained in a more “serious” manner. Nonetheless, he said that although Malacanang did not agree with Mocha’s way, it is taking the controversial dance video on federalism as a challenge to “transform” new interest on federalism into explaining how this proposed system of government will benefit Filipinos.It should be seen as an opportunity to start discussions on the true meaning of this new system of government, he added.


Even President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to have shrugged off the criticisms on the viral video. "The President was very cool about it. He's, first and foremost, a believer in freedom of expression,” Roque said, adding that although federalism has been the talk of the town because of the "unconventional" video, Duterte agreed the information campaign should have a more serious tone. Whether you agree or not, every able Filipino citizen must join in the discussion to shape their own government and their destiny. The people, after all, gets the government that they deserve.

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