Photo: Screenshot from the Pulse Asia website showing a slight increase in those favoring federalism from March to June
We can all question the manner in her methods and call it madness, but in the politics of the day, the unorthodox, or the crass, often creates outcomes we do not expect.
The video posted by Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson was, expectedly, bashed by her favorite Senators, many of who wanted their piece of the attention she and her video got. The claws of many who dislike the federalist proposal, mostly in Metro Manila, came out to strike at an easy target.
The anti federalist lobby`s strategy to limit these discussions within halls where they and their media cohorts can continue to frame the issue as a term extension ploy of a president they dislike. To their mind this can destroy its foundations and make the rest forget the proposal ever came up.
But with all the attention they themselves gave to her video, they have unwittingly poured fuel, and attention to a proposal they had hoped to suppress. They know it is difficult to do so, what with Pulse Asia reporting a slight rise in federalism`s approval by 1 point from March to June 2018 buoyed by a +18 increase in support in Mindanao to reach an unprecedented 51 percent, now majority support on the island. Federalisms approval rating also rose among the ABC and D class.
This is an outcome they want to suppress and have framed discussion to show its unpopularity. The numbers however may show a slightly different reality.(see photo)
They hype they have generated by hitting Uson may have now broadened talk over this difficult to discuss issue to the much larger, tabloid reading, youtube watching audience that barely knows about Federalism.
We will not be surprised if all of a sudden these same detractors of the federalist proposal find themselves justifying their position all over again in front of this larger audience.
Sadly for them they have consumed all their cards against it early by revealing their early opposition to the proposal after former Chief Justice Hilario Davide came out with his famous list of reasons against it. After their main beef about term extension was burned by President Duterte`s own statements against it, they will have little ammunition to use, and may now be forced to defend a unitary system that has clearly failed to deliver the democracy the majority have hoped to obtain,and enforced an inequality that numbers cannot deny.
The ensuing madness over the video fueled mostly by those opposing it has now poked the interest of a larger audience, potentially broadening the debate to the shanties and the hinterlands, which is tough territory for the mostly Manila-based elite detractors, and home ground for those who voted them out in 2016.
Hoping to frame amd suppress the federalism issue early, the broader attention on this debate is an outcome the antifederalists did not expect or desire.