Palace wants Mocha Uson ‘disengaged’ from federalism info campaign

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Palace wants Mocha Uson �disengaged� from federalism info campaign
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar revealed that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea got angry upon hearing that Uson would help spread information about federalism and Charter change.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — From the outset, the “little president” was against tapping Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson for the federalism information drive, and she has been asked to “disengage” from the campaign.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar revealed that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea got angry upon hearing that Uson would help spread information about federalism and Charter change.

“It was a Saturday when I last talked to Executive Secretary Bimbong Medialdea and he was asking me who appointed Mocha,” Andanar told radio station dzBB yesterday.

“Executive Secretary is not pleased,” he added.

Andanar said he gave Medialdea the contact number of of Ding Generoso, the spokesman for the consultative committee (Concom) formed to review the 1987 Constitution.

Generoso previously said Uson could help raise public awareness about federalism because she has numerous online followers.

“It was Ding who tapped her. I was not the one who appointed Mocha to become spokesperson. So, I told Ding you have to disengage because ES (Executive Secretary) is already angry. In fact, I think ES has already called him,” Andanar said.

Uson drew flak over an episode of an online show that critics said poked fun at federalism.

Drew Olivar, a blogger and co-host of Uson in the “Good News Game Show,” touched his crotch and chest while chanting “I-pepe” and “i-dede.” He then shouted “I-pederalismo!” at the end of his dance number.

“Pepe” is Filipino childspeak for the female genitalia while “dede” pertains to the breast.

Several users of social networking sites lambasted the video, calling it a cheap way of promoting federalism. Other critics chided Uson for allegedly wasting taxpayers’ money and insulting the Filipinos’ intellect.

Uson, who has been accused of using her blog to spread false information and propaganda, has claimed that the online show is not part of the Concom’s information campaign for Charter change.

Andanar clarified that Uson is not an official spokesperson for the interagency communication group formed for the public awareness campaign.

“The interagency (group) did not talk to Mocha. So, therefore, it’s not official. Kaya medyo nga na-bad trip si ES (That’s why the Executive Secretary was annoyed) while I was talking to him because there was no official announcement that there would be spokespersons,” he said at a press briefing at Malacañang.

Andanar said the communications group has agreed that the talking heads on federalism should be members of the Concom, selected Cabinet secretaries and advocates approved by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“The work of the PCOO is to disseminate (information). We will serve as the media platform of federalism messages. The PCOO will not be the messenger. We are just merely the bridge,” he said.

Uson was also criticized by netizens for her inaccurate claims regarding federalism and systems of government in Southeast Asian nations.

“We are being left behind by our neighbors in terms of governance, as we are the only nation in Southeast Asia that is under a unitary form of government, which places the country’s problems to be solved only by the hands of a few leaders, and manipulated by Manila-based oligarchs,” she wrote in a recent newspaper column in The STAR.

Correcting the inaccuracies, fact-checker VERA Files said almost all of Southeast Asia has been described as unitary countries with government power concentrated at the center, citing Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Timor-Leste and Brunei as examples, the last country being governed by a constitutional monarchy.

Only Malaysia has a federal form of government while Singapore is a city-state and has no local government, according to the facts shared by VERA Files. – Edith Regalado

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