A senatorial aspirant was reminded of a controversial blogger’s previous penchant for peddling fake news and black propaganda after being spotted on the same stage with her during a campaign sortie last Friday.
2022 senatorial bet Samira Gutoc defended her interaction with party-list nominee Mocha Uson when the latter was present at the Aksyon Demokratiko rally in Kawit, Cavite on March 18.
Uson, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte in his presidential bid in 2016, endorsed the political party’s standard bearer, presidential bet Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagso.
Gutoc is running under his slate.
Uson also said that she voted for Moreno during the 2019 midterm elections when he was still running for the mayoral race in Manila.
Gutoc shared the same stage with Uson and thanked the latter for supposedly making a stand for women.
“Nilalagay sa tama, kaya po i-tindig ang mga kabataan, proteksyunan ang mga ina,” the senatorial bet said, referencing Uson’s party-list, Mothers for Change or MOCHA.
“Salamat Mocha, salamat Mocha, sa iyong pagtindig sa mga kababaihan,” Gutoc added.
Following Gutoc’s remarks, some Twitter users recalled Uson’s role in the Duterte administration.
“The one she’s thanking right now is the one who disrespects VP (vice president) and spreading fake news since then, no wonder the youths chose not to support (you),” someone wrote in response to the incident.
“Mocha spread false information about teenage girls from my high school in an attempt to cyberbully both students and the institution and prevent them from expressing political beliefs,” another online user claimed.
“No ma’am, walang pasasalamat mula sa kababaihan para sa kanya,” she added, referring to the time when Uson condemned St. Scholastica students who protested against the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
At that time, Uson claimed that the school mandated them to attend the demonstrations. It has been denied by the alumnae, who said that they recognize the students’ role in nation-building as stated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Gutoc on Monday explained that she was unaware Uson would be included in their campaign rally last Friday.
“In that moment of Cavite rally, she just spoke. She said ‘yung kanyang adbokasiya pointed to the women. I acknowledged that. In the middle po that… out of the spur of the moment, [I said], ‘Thank you Mocha sa pagsabi mo on women and children,'” the senatorial bet said.
“It’s not like an endorsement, not like, ‘Wow you’re my model.’ Mutual is—’yung she was also saying, ‘Samira, ganyan ka pala.’ We were on that stage, smiling, and it was blown out of proportion,” Gutoc added.
“When you are graced by a visitor, you also welcome with graceness. I could’ve left but we are in that moment and I respect this was the decision of the organizers, which I got to know later pa,” she further said.
Gutoc also said that she and Uson share a common cause because both of them have been bashed online.
“She’s also the same, she’s also… we’re on the same boat of bashing,” she said in another interview.
In response to Gutoc’s explanation, a Twitter user cited that a good leader “should have strong principles, integrity, honesty and has human value.”
Fake news, red-tagging
Others reminded Gutoc that Uson, who she claimed was also attacked by netizens, was a “fake news peddler and red-tagger.”
“Unlike the attacks that you’ve received back when you’re still in the opposition,” another online user said.
In a Facebook video, Uson said that Gutoc’s critics could be scared of what she said is “real unity” wherein people from different political leanings come together to seek a government that “acts fast.”
“Dahil ‘yon talaga ang totoong unity,” the blogger said on Monday.
“Itong nangyayari na ito, sa pagsasama nanin ni Samira Gutoc sa iisang entablado, sa paniniwala, sa kagustuhan na magkaroon ng gobyernong mabilis ang kilos through Yorme, ay kayo po ay nagugulantang at iniintriga niyo pa. ‘Yung iba po, hindi ko po sinasabing lahat,” Uson added.
“Baka natatakot po sila na dito po talaga may totoong unity, na nagsasama ang magkakaibang political leaning o ibang paniniwala at magkaibang pinanggalingan” she further said.
Uson was previously called out for spreading false claims on her Facebook page.
Two years ago, Vice President Leni Robredo called out a misleading post shared by one of Uson’s page administrators.
Robredo clarified that the circulating social media posts featuring an old photo of an infrastructure project in Camarines Sur are false and misleading.
Uson’s page also resurfaced old claims that Sen. Risa Hontiveros was supposedly involved in corruption in PhilHealth as a former board member. It has been debunked in 2018.
Uson has likewise shared fake posts about a dead Brazilian girl, former senator Antonio Trillanes‘ alleged hidden wealth, Honduras soldiers, and the Constitution before.