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Inthe midst of press freedom being under fire, the UST Alumni Association decidedto award EstherMargaux “Mocha” Justiniano Uson who has long been known as apurveyor of fake news, promoter of lies, sharer of false information, andkiller of truth. How utterlydisappointing, downright disgusting, and deeply frustrating.Accordingto UST Alumni Association President Henry Tenedero, Mocha Uson was given theaward to serve as an inspiration to other government workers. Apparently, Icould not even enumerate the so-called exemplary services that she has done forthe Philippines, I am clueless about her “contributions”. In fact, I find itdifficult to fathom a woman who seems to be a symbolism of the administration’sunapologetic incompetence. What confuses me more is that how is a straight-up lying political blogger that has been associatedto fake news and plagiarized statements be worthy of the Thomasian OutstandingLeadership Award?TheUniversity of Santo Tomas boasts a long line of notable persons which includessome national heroes, former presidents, government officials, journalists – and then there’s Mocha. The pasthonorees are probably scratching their heads as to why they now happen toappear as if they’re on the same level as Mocha. Most likely, they are morethan offended regarding this situation.

Most alumni have been expressing theirstrong disapproval and dismay to the award that was recently given to MochaUson.  Even though I am not a Thomasianstudent, I echo their sentiments. If were a graduate who formerly received thesame award, I’d most likely say that I’ll be disappointed too.Almosteveryone wishes to be enlightened with UST’s core principles and standards becausesomething appears to be odd and fishy upon bestowing the award to Mocha.

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Itseems as though our current system is just being engulfed with numerous effortsto suck up to the government in exchange for power. I think this became asticky situation to be in for UST since Mocha is their alumna, an economic gamewherein you use power to either oppress or uplift people.Mochais nowhere close towards being an inspiration. She is not an example to beimitated, but rather an example of what not to be. She is an actual livingproof on why we must think first before we speak. Her words have no substance.  She is a government officialwho talks about different issues without fully knowing, apublic figure who propagates fake news in her blog. Inher profession, every simple mistake can become a major root of misinformationthat can eventually lead to the widespread of fake news.

It isincluded in her duty and responsibility to know the basic facts, mostespecially whenever she gives statements to the public. Realjournalists take time to double check even the miniscule details beforereleasing or broadcasting their reports. Mocharequested the public to move on from the issue of her award from UST after shereturned it back. Afterwards, she enumerated all of the important issues weshould be focusing on. However, her bashers focused more on her mistake whenshe mentioned that Mayon Volcano is in Naga. If we would give a closer lookon this issue, we would see that the citizens are not just making her”simple” mistakes as a national issue but they are able to somehow revealthe actual issue that needs to be emphasized – her incompetence in doing her job. Personally, I think that shedoes not deserve the recognition not because of her ugly past as a sexy star orwhatever she was before she entered politics. She doesn’tdeserve it simply because she is among the public figures who create a damagein the society.

Her statements do not unite the Filipino nation, she is anundeniable troll who divides the nation through a handful of propaganda andlies. Mochareceiving an award made it to the headlines and even generated controversies. Mochareturning her award made it to the headlines, again. Maybe this event wasorchestrated only to make it look like that Mocha is only a victim too, that itis not her fault that the USTAA decided to give the said award to her. Maybethis event was done in order to turn the tables upside down, to make her seemlike a good person, and to make everything according to their favor. She goingto run in senate so she probably needs achievements beneath her cap.

If she really intends on returning the award, she shouldhave returned it immediately after the awarding, or better yet, she should nothave accepted it before. Unfortunately, she does not even tryto show effort and portray a political personality to win the approval of herfellow citizens. Uson needs to act respectable and properin order to get the respect she is asking for.

I believethat it is best for Mocha to either keep her mouth shut or resign. She bringsher profession into disrepute every time she opens her mouth. She could havelived a simpler life but here she is, choosing to become a laughingstock ascitizens continue to watch out for her every mistake.Awards are meant for those who are deserving, it’s only fair that she hasalready returned what isn’t supposed to be hers in the first place.

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