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Nancy to Mocha: It’s time to decide, asec or blogger?

Sen. Nancy Binay said PCOO Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux "Mocha" Uson should choose between being a blogger or an assistant secretary. Senate PRIB / Alex Nueva España

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Nancy Binay on Wednesday told Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux "Mocha" Uson to decide whether she wants to continue being a blogger or pursue her public service.

Citing Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Binay said that under the law’s Section 4, it is indicated that as a public official Uson “cannot use the excuse of doing things in her capacity as a private individual.”

“At this point hindi mo pwedeng ihiwalay yung pagiging blogger mo sa pagiging Asec mo (you cannot separate your capacity as blogger and assistant secretary),” Binay said at the Senate probe into fake news.

“So I guess di ba? Para malinaw na talaga, baka it’s high time for you to decide kung gusto mong maging Asec or kung gusto mo maging blogger (Just to be clear, maybe it’s high time for you to decide whether you want to be an Asec or a blogger),” she suggested.

Uson defended herself saying she was just “exercising her right to freedom of expression and speech.”

The PCOO assistant secretary for social media also blogs on her Facebook page Mocha Uson Blog and is a columnist at the Philippine Star. She is also a performer and served as a Movie and Television Review and Classification Board board member.

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'Mocha also spreads fake news'

Two weeks ago, Binay cited Uson as a purveyor of fake news during the Senate hearing into the proposed P1.35 billion budget of PCOO for 2018. Binay asked PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar how his agency plans to stop the proliferation of fake news when Uson is among those who spread such.

Binay said it is hard to separate Uson as a private citizen and Uson as an assistant secretary.

Andanar, however, said he and Uson have agreed that the latter's social media posts are her own opinion which does not necessarily reflect the views of the PCOO.

On Wednesday, Uson, however, said she herself is a victim of fake news. She cried cyberbullying after ABS-CBN News Online wrote a story that she was contracted as a consultant for the Bureau of Customs even before she was appointed to a government position.

READ: Mocha Uson: I'm also a victim of fake news

There were several calls for the removal of Uson from her PCOO post following her social media blunders with netizens using the hashtag #FireMocha on Twitter.

Uson was also criticized for performing in casinos despite a prohibition on government employees from being seen in them.

A netizen recently urged President Rodrigo Duterte and Andanar to fire Uson for “repeatedly committed delivering fake news” via an online petition on Change.org.

Petitioner Kremlin Pandaan lamented how Uson receives a high-grade salary of SG 29 or “amounting to P106,454 monthly. He also slammed her for receiving transportation allowance, monetary allowance estimated at P60,000 and earning representation despite her alleged “incompetence.”

RELATED: Online petition urges Duterte, Andanar to fire Mocha

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