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Palace: Mocha Uson free to perform except in casinos

Communications Asec. Mocha Uson is free to perform except in casinos which are seen as extravagant by the public, according to the Palace. File

MANILA, Philippines — Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson is free to perform in other venues except in casinos, according to Malacañang, days after it was revealed that the former dancer performed at a casino despite government prohibition.

According to Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, government officials such as Uson should not be seen in casinos which convey extravagance and “questionable ethical practices” in the public mind.

“The law is clear, and Secretary Andanar has discussed with Asec. Uson why we must discourage her from performing in casinos,” the spokesperson said, referring to Martin Andanar, the Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary.

“Those in government must avoid being seen in such places.”

Two days ago, it was reported that Uson, a member of the girl group Mocha Girls, held performances in a casino in Resort’s World Manila despite a memorandum circular issued by President Rodrigo Duterte prohibiting government officials from entering such places.

According to Memorandum Circular 6 signed by Salvador Medialdea, the executive secretary, government officials and employees are barred from entering, staying or playing in casinos.

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“In view of its negative effect on the public perception of government service as a whole, the mere entry or presence of government officials and employees in a gambling casino shall be considered as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” the order issued on September 20 last year said.

On Thursday, Andanar, Uson’s boss, said that his office was already investigating into the alleged performances of the dancer known for her prurient videos and sexy dance numbers before her stint in government.

Andanar said Uson had asked for permission for her to be able to honor her entertainment contracts despite her appointment to government service.

Abella, in an interview with reporters, emphasized that government policy should be complied with.

Aside from Resorts World, Uson’s group also performs at Cowboy Grill, which has a chain of bars.

Uson is a staunch supporter of the president and maintains a blog which has a huge following.

She, however, has been accused of spreading canards. The most recent controversy she got involved in was when she called on opposition figures to visit the wake of a cop who turned out to be dead a year ago.

Before her appointment as a communications undersecretary, she was a board member of the MTRCB.

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