To the Villain’s Rescue 

By: Joshua Fidel Feria
August 08, 2017

Idealism, if nothing else, provides the narrative arc in the lives of otherwise boring people. 

You see, in a discussion on the prevalence of fake news this July, our Online Journalism instructor ran a poll to our class of Communication majors: Which sites would you wish to be taken down completely for peddling misinformation? 

Immediately, I, seething with what some would call liberal delusions, became wary of Marcosian pretexts to place a stranglehold on dissent. I was worried that its noble intentions would regress into a tool to favor the interests of the would-be censors. I jotted down on my paper diligently: ‘none’. 

My block mates saw things a bit differently, and the usual suspects were dragged through the slop. The heavily pro-administration pages MindaNation and Pinoy Trending were all unceremoniously tagged as ‘fake news’. Even Wikipedia, for all of its heroism to students through time and tide, found its way on the wrong end of the burn list. 

As the tally wound down to a close, a certain MOCHA USON BLOG was heralded most deserving to be struck off by the hypothetical Thought Police. It was a rather uncannily unified plea for ‘Off with her head’. These budding boys and girls of the mainstream media reviled the woman that much. 

The class’s consensus was almost unanimous: she peddles misinformation, she mistook Honduran policemen for Filipinos, and she was an unabashed sex-guru. 

All of a sudden, as if to spot himself an antagonist, my instructor blurted out, “May naka-like sa MOCHA USON BLOG dito, class?” 

I had to remind myself my idealism. This, I suppose, is the price I pay. 

I raised my hand. Then and there, I was placed in the odd position of defending the honor of Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Margaux Uson, placing my name at very risk of being tagged with the infantile derogatory ‘Dutertard’. 

I declared, in rather hushed tones, that I follow her blog not because I share her opinions, but rather in the interest of getting a point of view different from my own, regardless of how inflammatory. 

What of the misinformation? The partisanship? Her dabbling in the performing arts? 
All I managed to say then was meek, “Sir, she’s not a journalist.” 

And while it was still very much the point I wanted to raise, I was infuriated I didn’t do so with more panache. So, in the alternate reality where I have blustering confidence and am an orator worthy of Vladimir Lenin and Graciano Lopez Jaena, these were the points I could have articulated, preferably atop a pulpit to an audience of thousands: 

“Countrymen! Excoriate Miss Uson as much as you please for her fumbles as a public official, for being a blind follower to her ‘Father President’, and her frequent missteps in the pursuit of truth. Bear in mind, however, that Ms. Uson is not bound to any traditional journalistic code of ethics, and it would prove only foolish to judge the Assistant Secretary by the same standards you would a Jessica Soho or a Karen Davila. 

In all honesty, my comrades, advocating the liquidation of her page would be tantamount to censorship. And as much as a lot of you find listening to her voice a Draconian agony, her freedom of opinion remains very much a privilege all hers to exercise. Stripping her short of her online platform would be a reduction of our democracy to a masquerade. Are we so quick to forget our Voltaire, and defending to the death the right of others to say their piece?” 

For a while it was beautiful. Then, as quick as the bell went a-ding, I was ushered back to my reality of uncouth. Things are never as dramatic as you’d like them to be. Nonetheless, I like to think that day, even if only in a pipe dream, I stood up for my idealism. 

(First published at The LANCE's July issue)


  1. COA: Donations for Typhoon Ulysses Victims found Rotten and Undistributed
  2. Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures
  3. Knights bite the dust, succumbs to San Beda
  4. Filipino authors, books withstand Red-Tagging remarks VS KWF
  5. Sen. Hontiveros seeks to plumb the P7B "questionable releases" of CHED's UniFAST
  6. Letran celebrates Hybrid Binyag Arriba for Senior High School
  7. COA Reports on the Overpriced 39,583 Laptops Units DepEd Procured
  8. Senate Steps in, Files Resolution to solve Gilas Woes
  9. Students and RSOs Hardwork Pays Off in the Collegiate Orientation and Gaward Arriba 2022
  10. Knights fall to neighbors Pirates, record first loss
  11. Academic Year 2022-2023, Commences with Three Subsequent Annual Events
  12. Letranites Creativity and Passion Mirrors RSOs booths in the 2022 Org Fair
  13. Caralipio, Paraiso lift Knights past Tamaraws in FilOil EcoOil Preseason
  14. First Year CBAA Students, Welcomed to the Colegio with Binyag Arriba Day 2
  15. Colegio welcomes CLAS, COED, CEIT freshmen for Binyag Arriba Day 1
  16. Letran falters to UST, Gets Eliminated from Playoff Contention
  17. Wangs-Letran Bows To Baste, Drops Their Third in a Row
  18. Monkeypox detected in PH, Senate marks DOH Chief as 'urgent'
  19. Vape Law lapses into Law
  20. Wangs-Letran Stung by CEU Scorpions with Second Straight Loss
  21. Kobe Monje powers Letran to first FilOil Preseason Cup Win
  22. The New Slate of Officials for the 19th Congress of the Philippines
  23. Knights succumb to Green Archers in D-League
  24. The Trial Classes for the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School of Letran: A Testament
  25. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first SONA at the newly renovated Batasang Pambansa
  26. Shooting in Ateneo de Manila University Results into 3 Deaths and Several Injuries
  27. Teatro de Letran’s “Piladelpiya, Hirrr Ay Kammm!!!” Wows Teatro Europa’s Third Edition Launch; Letran Filipiniana Dance Company Opening, a Dazzling Comeback Performance.
  28. The Letran Let’s Flex Hyflex Program: The Start of Modern Innovative Education
  29. Wangs-Letran Outguns Gutsy Marinerong Pilipino, Gains solo Lead in D-League
  30. Letran Survives Gritty AMA Scare to Get 2nd Straight D-League Win
  31. Cyberknights Grab First Win in CCE, Goes 1-3
  32. Letran Gets Swept By San Sebastian, Officially Ends Season 97 Campaign
  33. Former CBCP President, Archbishop Lagdameo, dies at 81
  34. Sangalang, Paraiso, Caralipio provide championship composure as Letran overcomes pesky St. Clare
  35. Knights unveil roster for PBA D-League
  36. Letran stuns Mapua, Improves to 2-6
  37. Esports: Letran bows to Arellano and CSB in MLBB at the Collegiate Center for Esports Competition
  38. Lady Knights Yield to Lady Generals
  39. A Fight Against Poverty: Launching of Angat Buhay NGO
  40. President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.; Now on the Highest Seat of the Nation
  41. First woman-elect Lacuna takes oath as the 28th Mayor of Manila
  42. “It’s not a signal for me to stop, but to keep on going.”: NBA Dream still alive for Kai Sotto even after Draft Snub
  43. Letran bows to Lyceum; Drops to 1-4
  44. Lady Knights Escape San Beda in Five Set Thriller; Finally Enters Winning Column
  45. Knights sweep Cardinals, cops 19th NCAA title
  46. Letran Completes Comeback Over Mapua to Take Game One
  47. Still in Shining Armor: Letran Escaped The Altas’ Scare, Charges to the NCAA 97 Finals With an Unblemished Record.
  48. Letran Escapes Arch-rivals, Finishes Elimination Round With A Clean Sweep
  49. Elite Eight: Abando, Paraiso Lead Knights to Gritty Win Against Golden Stags, Secures Final Four Slot.
  50. Knights Thrash Bombers, Extending Their Unbeaten Streak to 7-0.  
  51. A Look Into Ping Lacson
  52. Letran Escapes Lyceum, Secures Fifth Straight Win of the Season
  53. Knights Continue Hot Streak, Trounces Mapua
  54. Letran Triumphs Over Perpetual, Abando Records Career Game
  55. Letran Dominates Arellano, gets 2nd Straight Win
  56. Letran Charges Back, Edges Benilde in NCAA ‘97 Opener
  57. Rewriting OPM: The P-pop Takeover
  58. Filipino Humor and Pinoy Comedy Films: A Sacrosanct Relationship
  59. The Unfaltering Voice of the Press
  60. To Get The Fire Back
  61. Pearl's Pride and Glory: First Philippine Republic Day
  62. CHED and DOH Visit Letran In Preparation For NCAA Bubble, Colegio Now Approved For Training
  63. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  64. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  65. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  66. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  67. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  68. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  69. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  70. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  71. Two bullets each
  72. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  73. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  74. The Greatest Reset
  75. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  76. Long live the King!
  77. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  78. Killing our heroes
  79. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  80. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  81. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  82. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  83. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  84. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  85. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor