Mocha Uson confronts Ateneo student publication

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Blogger Mocha Uson took to Facebook to confront Ateneo de Manila University students about a publication bearing her name.

The publication was "Tanganglawin," an annual satirical issue produced by Matanglawin, the university's college news magazine in Filipino.

Uson posted on Friday a photo of a publication labelled "Mochang Tanga Blog," baring an imitation of her Facebook profile and a collage of President Rodrigo Duterte. She asked if it was true that the publication was being passed around in the university. Uson claims  the publication was being distributed secretly along with other reading materials.

A former sex blogger, Uson has since turned to politics, actively supporting Duterte and his war on drugs. She has over 4 million followers on Facebook.

"Wag po natin lahatin ang mga Atenista. Naniniwala ako madami diyan ang mahal nila bayan natin," she wrote. "Meron lang talagang iilang tinatamaan ng pagbabago ni Pangulo kaya ganyan maka react."

[Translation: Let's not generalize Ateneans. I believe many of them love our country… But some of them are just really affected because of the President's reforms, which is why they react like that.]

 

As of Friday night, the post gained over 17,000 reactions and 6,000 shares.

In a statement it posted on Facebook, Matanglawin said that it aimed to talk about current social conditions through satire. It has previously made issues mocking Rappler, UST's The Varsitarian, and The Guidon, Ateneo de Manila University's college broadsheet in English.

The school publication also wrote: "Nais din ng publikasyong ipakita, sa pamamagitan ng "Tanga," gamit ang mga isyung binigyang mapanuksong pagsusulat, na hindi nalalayo ang katotohanan sa katatawanan."

[Translation: The publication hopes to show through "Tanga," through the issues given satirical writing, that reality is not that far from humor.]

Rambo Talabong, Matanglawin Editor-in-Chief, said that they conceptualized the issue shortly after Duterte's election win.

"The Mocha Uson Blog is perfect for satire because it's… critical of the traditional media institutions and its practices while having many posts that are not credible on its own page," Talabong told CNN Philippines. He added that he hoped she would verify her posts before sharing them due to the number of engaged followers she has.

Talabong also said that they did not expect the publication to go viral. "Based on the reactions, we feel like the lampoon is a success. Mocha Uson and many of her followers read it at face value… and misread it as a real 'pamphlet,'" he said, adding that satire demands a different reading from regular news. "With our explanation of it as a lampoon, we hope to have sparked a discussion on smarter practices in reading, both in social media and in print."

In replies to her original post, Uson said that she had simply asked whether the distribution of the material was true. "Ang linaw sa caption na hindi ko sinisisi ang Ateneo o ang Atenista," she commented.

Uson also added that most of those bashing her thought highly of themselves. "Ganyan naman ang mga 'disente,' pag nangbabash sila sasabihin 'satire,'" she said. "Pero pag sila ang binash o d kaya binash ang mga kakampi nila sasabihin 'below the belt.'"

[Translation: When 'decent' people bash, they claim it's 'satire.' But if they or people on their side are bashed, they cry 'below the belt.']

"Yes or no lang naman ang sagot (doon). Biglang sinabihan ako na tanga daw ako," she said in a different post.

[Translation: It was a yes or no question. Suddenly I was told that I was stupid.]

Uson also said that she will cool off following the reactions to her post.