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Online petition urges Duterte, Andanar to fire Mocha

President Rodrigo Duterte and PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar were asked to remove Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson from office. File

MANILA, Philippines —  A netizen recently filed an online petition calling for the removal of Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux "Mocha" Uson from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

In a petition made on Change.org over the weekend, Kremlin Pandaan appealed for 50,000 signatures to oust Uson as assistant secretary for social media of PCOO.

The petition indicated that it would be delivered to President Rodrigo Duterte and PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar.

Pandaan cited that Uson, a staunch supporter of Duterte during his presidential bid, has “repeatedly committed delivering fake news.”

Uson is also a blogger in her Facebook page Mocha Uson Blog and a columnist at the Philippine Star. She is also a performer and served as a Movie and Television Review and Classification board member.

The online petitioner found it ironic that Uson “is an anti-news advocate herself.” Pandaan noted that Uson only tags as fake news those whose ideals are opposite hers and those who criticize the Duterte administration.

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“Being and ASEC of PCOO for Social Media, she herself has to be the representation of no fake news and be the advocate of getting into real news and devoid of bias, most especially she has a blog, with her namesake,” Pandaan said.

“However, she does not admit to her mistakes and rather, say to her supporters that contradicting her is a propaganda by the allegedly 'yellow people' and that they are paid,” he added.

The petitioner also slammed Uson for receiving a high-grade salary of SG 29 or “amounting to P106,454 monthly,” according to the Department of Budget and Management. He cited Uson also receives transportation allowance, monetary allowance estimated at P60,000 and earns representation.

“Mocha does not deserve the title. She is not a journalist. She is a laughing and irritating stock of the real news and journalism,” Pandaan said.

“By removing Mocha Uson, Filipinos are a step forward in making sure that competent appointees are those eligible for their respective positions,” he added.

Pandaan called on netizens to join him citing that Uson is the one “being paid with money coming from the taxes of the Filipinos [who are] working hard.”

Prior to the online petition, the hashtag #FireMocha trended on Twitter for her social media blunders. She was also criticized for performing in casinos despite a prohibition on government employees being seen in them.

READ: 'Fire Mocha' trends after PCOO asec's latest gaffe | PCOO probes ASec Mocha's casino shows despite gov't ban

'Mocha spreads fake news,' Nancy Binay says

Last Wednesday, Sen. Nancy Binay also asked Andanar how the PCOO plans to stop the proliferation of fake news citing Uson as a purveyor of fake news. 

Andanar earlier said they have agreed that Uson’s social media posts are her own opinion. He added that it does not necessarily reflect the views of the PCOO.

“Kasi ‘di ba ang hirap i-separate ng Mocha na private citizen and Mocha na assistant secretary. How can you, Secretary Andanar, fight fake news kung may mga instances na nanggagaling mismo sa isang Asec ‘yung fake news? So I guess ‘yun ‘yung magiging dilemma mo, how would you balance things?” Binay asked at the Senate hearing into the proposed P1.35 billion budget of PCOO for 2018.

Uson reacted to Binay’s remark by apologizing for failing to follow the standards of journalism and commented on her alleged corruption.

“Hindi po tayo makiki-argue pag dating sa paratang ng Fake News dahil propaganda yan ng mga against sa atin. Sila ang nagpapakalat ng mali maling impormasyon pag dating sa ating Pangulo,” Uson wrote.

“Pero ito lang yan- Kung nagkamali man po ako sa post ko dahil sa hindi pagsunod sa 'standard' ng pagiging journalist pasensiya na pero at least kahit kelan hindi ako nagnakaw sa bayan ko. Kayo po mam?? Nagtatanong lang po,” she added.

As of posting, the online petition against Uson earned 37,291 signatures.

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