Being part of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) means whoever is in the position should at least have a background on media practice, journalism, and public relations; but, unfortunately, former PCOO Assistant Secretary of Communications (ASEC) Margaux “Mocha” Uson does not have any of these. As a consequence, we Filipinos paid the price for her inability to uphold the responsibilities of her power. Through a more personal retrospect, how many times have we experienced the turmoil of accepting responsibility beyond our capability and eventually facing the consequences?
The presidency of Rodrigo Duterte has been turbulent, to say the least, facing accusations of state-sponsored killings and scandalous remarks left and right. However, on top of the Davaoeño’s countless crimes, one of the most unforgivable was the appointment of Uson, a former sexy entertainer and medical technology graduate, as PCOO Asec.
Even before Uson’s government post, she is infamous for spreading false information to cater to the Duterte regime. In her time as ASec, she continued to post pro-Duterte propaganda that slandered the very essence of their policy of truth and proper usage of media. This earned her significant backlash from the very people she swore to serve, leading to her inevitable resignation from her position last October.
At some point, we have all criticized Uson for accepting the PCOO position despite the obvious lack of qualifications to properly fulfill her post—but, in all honesty, how many times have we found ourselves in a similar situation?
Misunderstanding “the grind”
We have been brainwashed to believe that being busy is the key to productivity. We work tirelessly to feel validated and secured with ourselves, knowing we have a place of use in the grander scheme of things. The need to feel productive has a turning point, however, when we find ourselves in a disposition where we accept responsibilities beyond our control, and that is where the forked road presides.
Our basic instinct is to take the challenges in stride, but not all can succeed the perilous road ahead. We reach the end of the road either feeling like champions or feeling like burdens. This is where the system has damaged us, leaving us broken no matter what outcome, as we are always expecting to be more, to be better, all the while completely forgetting our ability to pace ourselves to reach our goal without instant gratification.
The reflection of error
Being an editor for a student-journalists’ organization, the eyes of the world fall upon us, emerging as the beacon of truth and leadership. Nothing we release should be of any form of logical fallacy, miswritten words or sentences, or bias in nature, for it will reflect on the image of not only the team, but the credibility of the institution. We find ourselves in the position of Uson, where we are at the mercy of public scrutiny, and we have to uphold the responsibility and ethics of media and journalism, consisting of the facts and the reflection of today’s times. Anything less and we are not only endangering the Benildean Press Corps as an organization, but the people who absorb our content. Sadly for us, there are people who cannot uphold the standard, and in turn they damage the credibility of the media as an institution.
As humans, we learn from the mistakes we make, processing how certain situations shaped outcomes and how these outcomes help us survive in the end. As humans, we are able to reflect and change our ways not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of others. We are guided by our moral compass to do what is necessarily right in any situation, and our mistakes only point us more into the direction of improvement.
Let us all revel in the ability of choice and hope that what we choose will define us in the end.
This article was originally published in The Benildean Vol. 5 No. 1: Emergence.