By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent
Malacanang said Assistant Sec. Mocha Uson of the Presidential Communications Operations Office can very well explain herself regarding the administrative complaint filed with the Ombudsman by the Akbayan Youth against her for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
But instead of explaining her side, Uson characteristically taunted the student group calling for her dismissal by saying it gave her an idea for the name of a coffee shop she plans to put up. She would call it “Fire Mocha” which was the rallying cry of students that trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City to file the complaint.
In the 12-page complaint, Akbayan Youth said Uson should be removed from her post for committing the administrative offenses of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Through her social media accounts, Uson allegedly spread misinformation.
Uson’s initial response to the complaint was the same nonchalance she showed at the Senate when, at a hearing on “fake news”, she said nothing much except compliment Sen. Antonio Trillanes on how good-looking he was in person. Trillanes was her chief inquisitor.
The Akbayan Youth members marched with placards and chanted, “How do you like your Mocha? Fired!” on their way to the Ombudsman.
The group said Uson must not be allowed to remain in office as she is the “source of numerous and deliberate misinformation,” which is contrary to the PCOO’s mandate of ensuring transparency and delivery of accurate information to the people.
“Uson is not competent to discharge her functions as a public officer. She not only showed gross ignorance on provisions of the Constitution and of Philippine geography but also unlawfully uses her blog to spread misinformation,” the complaint read.
The group cited some of the blunders allegedly committed by Uson, such as saying that Mayon Volcano is in Naga, as well as posting on her Facebook blog a photograph of Honduran policemen mislabeling it as Filipino soldiers fighting in Marawi City.
They said Uson exposed several students of St. Scholastica’s College in Quezon City to cyber-bullying and on-line attacks when she posted on-line that the school required them to attend a rally opposing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“Wittingly or unwittingly, Uson’s action was the cause of oppression against the innocent students who were merely exercising their right to peaceful protest. There is no doubt that Uson is a threat to the security of people who criticize the government,” the complaint read.
Akbayan Youth said Uson is also abusing her powers to “stifle dissent” especially of officials from the opposition. It cited an instance when Uson, in her commentary radio program on dzRH, repeatedly cursed Vice-president Leni Robredo, calling the latter “bobo” or stupid.
It was noted how Uson, during the 1985 EDSA revolt anniversary celebration last February, suggested that the whole event was an offshoot of fake news.
President Duterte of course merely pays lip service to the historical significance of Edsa people power.
This enraged many people, including veteran journalist Ed Lingao of TV5.
In a social media post, Lingao said: “I will try to understand your inability to comprehend what it was like to use your body to block Marines and their 37-ton Amtraks from advancing to Camp Aguinaldo to quell a military mutiny. I suppose, wala ka naman duon… What I cannot understand is where you get the nerve to imply that this was all theatrics.”
“If you want samples of theatrics,” Lingao told Uson, “there are more appropriate samples out there, like the one on a lady assistant secretary’s blog where she shows herself plinking targets with a rifle, with the caption that says ‘training kahapon bago pumunta sa Mindanao.’ Or one where she is reading law books.”
Lingao indicated that Uson was in her elements when she claimed she was on combat training and that she really read law books.