By Genalyn Kabiling
The party-list group backed by former Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson could have earned “overwhelming” votes in the midterm polls if it was named after her, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the comment after pointing out Uson’s overconfidence might have contributed to the poor performance of a new party-list group in the midterm polls.
AA-Kasosyo party-list group, where Uson is the first nominee, is reportedly lagging behind other groups in the elections.
“If it’s a new party-list, talagang mahirap [If it’s a new party-list, it’s really difficult]…Hindi naman Mocha ang party-list eh. Siguro kung Mocha party-list aba, baka overwhelming [It’s not Mocha part-list. Maybe if it was Mocha party-list group, it might get overwhelming support],” Panelo said during an interview with reporters in Malacañang.
Panelo initially expressed shock at the reported dismal poll numbers of Uson’s party-list group. “Bakit natalo si Mocha? Parang I can’t believe that,” he said.
Panelo argued that Uson probably did not campaign well as she was “overconfident” about having many Facebook followers.
“Isa lang ang ibig sabihin niyan, hindi siya nag-concentrate sa pagkampanya. baka she was overconfident considering she has five million followers and most of them overseas na bumoboto. kasi ang alam ko nangangampanya siya for others [It just means one thing. She did not concentrate on the campaign. She was probably overconfident considering she has five million followers and most of them overseas voters. Because I know she was campaigning for others],” he said.
The President earlier endorsed Uson’s bid to become party-list representative in the May polls, citing her simplicity and compassion for the masses. The Palace’s so-called “Duterte magic” worked on many administration’s senatorial candidates, currently dominating the polls, but apparently failed to lift the poll numbers of Uson’s party-list group.
Panelo later admitted being unaware about the name of Uson’s party-list group. “Ano ba ang party-list niya in the first place? [What’s her party-list group in the first place?” he asked reporters.
When asked which party-list group he voted for, Panelo said: “Secret.”
In case Uson’s party-list group bid fails, Panelo meantime said she could continue to serve the public in another capacity.
“The fact na nag-resign siya ibig sabihin marami pa siyang avenues na pwedeng gawin para makapagsilbi sa bayan [The fact that she resigned, it meant she has other avenues where she can serve the nation],” he said.
He noted that even before Uson joined the government, she has helped many overseas Filipino workers. “Siguro ipagpapatuloy niya. and hanga ako sa ginagawa nia [Maybe she will continue her advocacy. I admire her for what she’s doing],” he added.