Netizens are calling out former beauty queen and volleyball player Michele Gumabao for joining Mocha Uson's self-named party-list. Michele filed her certificate of candidacy for the Mothers For Change (MOCHA) party-list as second nominee earlier this month. In an Instagram post, Michele said she is joining MOCHA because she wants to be "a voice for women and the youth."
Why are netizens "disappointed" in Michele Gumabao?
Mocha Uson, a former entertainer, is now a blogger and the deputy administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. Over the years, Mocha has gained flak for spreading fake news online, such as when she said young St. Scholastica students were "forced" to join protests, which was disproved by the students and the St. Scho administration. Mocha once shared a photo of a murdered woman who was supposedly a victim of drug-dependent criminals in the Philippines, but the photo actually came from Brazil. In 2020, the NBI said they investigated Mocha for sharing misleading information on social media.
Comments on Michele's recent IG post about her party-list include "I am disappointed, I can't contain my disbelief," and "I have always been your fan, what happened?" Many commenters quoted her Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Q&A stint, where she said:
"I know that fake news is very rampant nowadays. But in order to fight this, we must first know what we are reporting, know what we are reading, and at the same time, be accountable with what we say especially online. And I hope that media always filters and use their resources to always deliver truth and authentic news."
Michele also has a viral Facebook post from 2018 where she encouraged everyone to be advocates against fake news: "With the power of media, we should be responsible and diligent in our words and in expressing our opinion. It's not just the government and media that have to be mindful of this, we should all commit ourselves to speaking, posting, and sharing only the TRUTH! No to cyberbullying, no to fake news and no to shaming! It starts with us!"
While there was a myriad of negative comments on her post, there were still supporters who said they stood by Michele.