'Mocha party-list' might have fared better, Panelo says of Uson's poll loss

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
'Mocha party-list' might have fared better, Panelo says of Uson's poll loss
Influential and controversial Facebook blogger Esther Margaux "Mocha" Uson's AA-Kasosyo lags in the party-list race.

MANILA, Philippines— Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo was in disbelief on Wednesday after learning that former Palace official Esther Margaux "Mocha" Uson did not manage to convert her online following to votes in the party-list race.

As of 2:04 p.m., party-list “AA-Kasosyo”, which lists Uson as first nominee, ranked 73rd with 117,772 votes at 97.46% of election returns processed.

This was despite Uson’s large following of 5.7 million on her Facebook page Mocha Uson Blog.

“Bakit, talo si Mocha? Parang I can’t believe that (Why did Mocha lose? It’s like I can’t believe that),” Panelo told Palace reporters on Wednesday.

The Palace spokesman said that Uson’s party-list is new—he struggled to recall its name—and not named after her, which posed a challenge to getting elected.

Asked if Panelo voted for AA-Kasosyo, he said “secret”, adding that he voted for President Rodrigo Duterte’s choices.

In her since discontinued column on The STAR, Uson said she is running as a nominee of AA-Kasosyo "because we both share the same visions for Filipinos who are struggling to change their lives for the better."

"AA Kasosyo Party-list seeks to support Filipinos in achieving their idea of sustainable development, i.e. through livelihood and entrepreneurship programs that Filipinos can utilize and enjoy," she also said then.

According to Uson, AA-Kasosyo aims to help Filipinos, especially overseas workers, to engage in businesses. 

Panelo: Uson may have been 'overconfident'

Panelo added that Uson may have been “overconfident” and “complacent” during the campaign. He said that the former performer turned governor official focused on campaigning for other administration-backed bets.

"Seventy-thousand ang nakuha lang niya na boto? Parang incredible yata ‘yan. Isa lang ibig sabihin niyan, hindi siya nag-concentrate sa pagkampanya," Panelo, who previosuly ran for senator, said.

(She only got 70,000 votes? That’s incredible. It only mean one thing, she did not concentrate on the campaign.)

"Baka she was overconfident considering na she has 5 million followers and most of them are overseas na bumuboto. Kasi alam ko nangangampaniya siya for others," he added.

(Maybe she was overconfident considering that she has 5 million followers and most of them are overseas voters. I also know she campaigned for others)

The Palace spokesman said that Uson should have named the party-list after herself for a better chance at being elected.

Voters pick party-lists, which are supposed to represent marginalized groups, instead of specific nominees.

“Hindi naman Mocha party-list e. Siguro kung Mocha party-list baka overwhelming (It’s not called Mocha party-list. Had it been Mocha party-list it may have gotten overwhelming votes),” Panelo said.

On Thursday, Panelo said he spoke with Uson and discussed her party-list loss. He said he advised Uson to have her name associated with AA-Kasosyo.

"The people don't know she is a nominee,” he said in Filipino.

Despite Uson’s party-list defeat, Panelo said he is confident the former Palace official will not forget her advocacies.

Duterte-backed party-lists are front-runners in polls

Meanwhile, ACT-CIS, endorsed by pro-Duterte broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo, leads the party-list race with 2,596,463 votes. The party-list has Tulfo’s sister, Jocelyn, as its second nominee.

DUTERTE Youth or Duty to Energize the Republic Through the Enlightenment of the Youth Sectoral Party-List Organization was also among the top-ranking party-lists with 343,528 votes.

It listed National Youth Commission Chairman Ronald Cardema’s wife Ducielle Marie Suarez as its first nominee.

A total of 134 party-list are vying for 59 seats for sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives.

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