Uson resigns as PCOO assistant secretary
The controversial public official announced her resignation during the Senate hearing on the budget of PCOO Wednesday.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo, File
Uson resigns as PCOO assistant secretary
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - October 3, 2018 - 10:43am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 11:24 a.m.) — Presidential Communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson has stepped down from her post. 

The controversial public official announced her resignation during the Senate hearing on the 2019 budget of PCOO Wednesday.

"Ako na po ang magsasakripisyo para maipasa na ang budget ng PCOO. Ako ay nagdesisyon na mag-resign na po," she said.

She said she resigned from her post to ease the way for the passage of the budget of the PCOO, which has been deferred by the House of Representatives due to her absence. 

Uson accused some members of the lower house of delaying PCOO's proposed P1.41 billion for 2019, saying they were angered because of her interview with supposed six representatives of indigenous people's groups, including a "datu" implicated in deaths of Lumad leaders in 2015. 

The video, which denies claims of militarization in Mindanao and blaming the communist rebels for Lumad killings, is an insult to indigenous peoples, Lumad groups said. 

"Pinili kong manahimik sa harap ng pag-atake niyo dahil alam kong kaya niyong ipitin ang budget ng aming departamento," she said. 

The House of Representatives deferred plenary deliberations on the proposed budget of PCOO because of Uson’s absence, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

But Uson vowed that it is not yet the end for her. 

"Dadalhin ko ang laban sa Senado o Kongreso," she said.

Uson is reportedly being eyed as a nominee of ACTS-OFW party-list. 

String of controversies

Uson, a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been accused of spreading fake information and tarnishing the image of the government. Controversies involving the former entertainer-turned-public official have prompted calls for her to resign. 

Last month, Uson and her blogger friend Drew Olivar sparked outrage over a suggestive dance video that earned the ire of federalism avocates, including close allies of the president.

The duo was also under fire last month for making fun of the sign language used by the deaf community. Supporters and members of the deaf community have filed a complaint against Uson before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Their viral "federalism" video prompted calls to slash the PCOO budget and fire the assistant secretary.

Uson is also facing an administrative complaint before the Ombudsman as members of Akbayan Youth accused her of spreading “fake news.”

In September 2017, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed criminal and administrative charges against Uson for alleging he has secret bank accounts. 

Last year, the hashtag #FireMocha trended on Twitter after she demanded opposition leaders visit the wake of a cop who, as it turned out, had been dead for a year.

Uson was appointed as PCOO assistant secretary in May 2017. Prior to that, she was a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. 

Too late

Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros called Uson's resignation "too little, too late" since "the damage has already been done."

"It is an extremely belated gesture rendered insignificant in the face of gross incompetence, state-sponsored vulgarity and the proliferation of fake news. It has come very late in response to the public's demand for accountability," she said. 

Hontiveros called on Uson's former boss, Secretary Martin Andanar, to salvage the PCOO's image by ending the office's supposed incompetence and state-sponsored promotion of fake information. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 4, 2018 - 11:16am

Leaders of Akbayan Youth arrive at the Office of the Ombudsman to file an administrative complaint against Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson over her alleged spreading of fake news.

The complaint includes grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. 



— with Elizabeth Marcelo

October 4, 2018 - 11:16am

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered former Palace official Mocha Uson to “submit a written explanation/comment” on the complaint against her and blogger friend Drew Olivar "and reports pursuant to Section 26(2) of RA 6770"

Uson has ten days from receipt of the order to file her comment. 

The complaint stems from a video she posted on her Facebook page of Olivar mimicking sign language as a joke.

The directive from the ombudsman, penned by Assistant Ombudsman Joselito Fangon, is dated September 28 but was released only on Thursday.

October 3, 2018 - 10:34am

Influential and controversial Facebook blogger Margaux "Mocha" Uson has resigned from the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the government agency whose proposed 2019 budget has been on hold at the House for her failure to attend hearings.

Uson is reportedly being eyed as a nominee of ACTS-OFW party-list whose representative, Aniceto Bertiz III, might face a House probe over his recent outburst at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Uson, who made the announcement at a Senate budget hearing, said she was resigning so the budget for the PCOO would not be jeopardized. She was excused from the hearing.

She told critics that her rsignation does not mean she is afraid of them.

Her resignation comes in the wake of controversies on social media that have earned her, and her blogger friend Drew Olivar, widespread criticism.

In September, the Philippine Federation of the Deaf filed a complaint against her and Olivar for a video it said mocked sign language. 

'Fake news complaint'

Uson is also facing an administrative complaint before the Ombudsman as members of Akbayan Youth accused her of spreading “fake news.”

In September 2017, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed criminal and administrative charges against Uson for alleging he has secret bank accounts

The Trillanes complaints were spurred by Uson's posting in her Facebook account an allegation on Davao Breaking News – a Facebook page run by freelancer Ben Tesiorna – on the senator's purported offshore bank accounts. The post also included several computer-printed documents supposedly pertaining to bank details and transactions.

The allegations were never substantiated and President Rodrigo Duterte later admitted that he had "invented" at least one of the supposed bank account numbers mentioned.

September 22, 2018 - 2:18pm

PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson says she is yet to receive the complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman by deaf groups

The complaint stemmed from a 48-second video posted on Facebook. The video, captioned “Pepedederalismo for Deaf People,” shows radio commentator Drew Olivar, pretending to be deaf while making hand gestures mimicking the sign language of deaf people. 

September 20, 2018 - 9:47am

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf has filed a complaint against Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson over a "sign language" video that she and her blogger friend Andrew Olivar have acknowledged as disrespectful and have apologized for.

Complainant Carolyn Dagani, president of Philippine Federation of the Deaf says Uson and Olivar's sign language video "is an insult to the entire deaf community and to all persons with disabilities."

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde earlier this week said the video was "very offensive and disrespectful to the Filipino Deaf Community."

It also said the video is a clear violation of the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, which prohibits ridicule, both verbal and non-verbal, of persons with disabilities, which can intimidate them or make them lose their self-esteem.

"The mimicry of sign language and of the Deaf’s voice, as well as the statements of incitement and insult from a government official and a blogger, are definitely against the Deaf, their culture and language," the statement signed by Br. Dennis Magbanua, president of DLS-CSB read.

DLS-CSB has a a School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies

Sen. Nancy Binay, author of a bill to officially adopt Filipino Sign Language, has also called Uson out, saying the video "[sets] back our efforts to make our society more inclusive by providing a more conducive environment for deaf Filipinos to exercise their right to expression without prejudice," she also said.

"I wish to remind Asec. Mocha that as a public official, it is paramount that she refrain from mocking the people she serves," she also said.

It is unlikely that the Presidential Communications Operations Office will sanction Uson whose statements and actions in the past have been readily excused or otherwise played down by the Palace. — with The STAR/Elizabeth Marcelo

September 19, 2018 - 4:14pm

CHR says its regional office in Metro Manila has initiated an investigation in light of the complaint and its mandate to protect the rights of the vulnerable sector.

The state human rights body calls on the National Council for Disability Affairs to make a firm stand on the video, which it described as "utterly appalling and unacceptable."

"Public apology from Uson, Olivar welcome, but it must be coupled with full sense of accountability and concrete actions to rectify the wrong done," the CHR says.

"The Magna Carta for PWDs specifically prohibits ridicule or making a mockery of PWDs. The penalty for such violation includes fine or imprisonment."  — with Janvic Mateo

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