Story by Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent
After resigning as Asst. Communications Secretary, Mocha Uson vowed to ramp up her attacks against President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics whom she called “mga ulol” and give them a hard fight.
But she was coy when asked if she would run for senator or any elective position, saying “it is for the public to decide.”
Interviewed after emerging from the Senate hearing on the proposed PHP 1.417-billion budget of the Presidential Communications Office (PCOO), Uson said she was directly addressing senators and lawmakers who forgot what she did for them during the campaign period in 2016.
“I will do what I did during the campaign. Let’s have a fist fight, let’s fight it out. Don’t restrain me,” said Uson who announced her resignation during the budget deliberations.
“Marami po diyan basta ‘yung mga epal na senador at kongresista kasi sumosobra na sila eh,” said Uson who vowed to carry on her fight in her blog.
Uson’s has been accused of spreading false news and information in her blogs. She was faced several complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of the President, filed administrative and criminal complaints against Uson for spreading “fake news” that he owned offshore bank accounts.
“This is a fight, this is really a fight,” added Uson, who declined to identify lawmakers she would target. But she promised to be the voice of the people whether she became a politician or a blogger.
According to Uson, she was now free from any restrictions that came along with her job at the PCOO. As assistant secretary, she was directed to avoid criticizing lawmakers so as not to endanger the PCOO budget.
“I am free again to fight. But now you can expect that I will be even fiercer,” she warned.
In announcing that she’s quitting her post, Uson said she was making a “sacrifice” in order for things to move on. She emphasized that some lawmakers often delayed deliberations on the budget of the PCOO.
The House of Representatives on October 2 postponed anew plenary deliberations on the PCOO’s proposed budget due to Uson’s absence.
Because of that, Uson said she will make a sacrifice so the PCOO’s budget would be approved. “I have decided to resign,” said Uson, reading from a prepared statement.
“To my critics, don’t be mistaken that you have won,” she said, adding that she resigned so that there would be a “fair fight.”
Several lawmakers, citizens’ groups, and even Uson’s colleagues at the PCOO have called for her resignation due to the several controversies hounding her, including major blunders committed.
Uson said she would heed the President’s advice to “let the people decide.” Uson also said she would take her cue from comments from her on-line supporters.
When pressed about her political plans, she said, “I can’t answer that now. I will listen to the comments I read on Facebook, to what the supporters say there. I will base it there,” said Uson who ranked 45th to 63rd among the senatorial preferences based on the September Pulse Asia.
“I don’t look at the surveys, I look at what I get on Facebook. They say, ‘Fight on,’” said Uson, who has served for one year and five months.
Uson, a sexy dancer before joining PCOO said she is sure the President will accept her resignation dated September 28.
“We respect her resignation and we thank Asec. Mocha for her service to the Duterte government. She was a good ally,” said Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.
Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros described Uson’s resignation. “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.
“She has not only successfully planted the seeds of untruth inside the government, she has made sure it bore fruit to sow confusion and poison the public’s mind,” said Hontiveros.
“I call on Sec. Martin Andanar to restore some sense of order to his office and end the incompetence and state-sponsored promotion of fake news,” said Hontiveros.
“But if Sec. Andanar really wants to salvage the PCOO’s image, he has this one chance to do it. If not, he is no better than Uson.”
For her part, Sen. Nancy Binay said Uson has the freedom to attack anyone “for as long as no government funds are being spent.”
While she respects Uson’s resignation, Binay said, “She missed the opportunity to prove everybody wrong. This was her chance to show she deserved to be called Asec. Mocha Uson but she didn’t do it,” she said.
Meanwhile, some senators want the PCOO to “revert” back to the old Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) to make it more effective.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III presented the idea when PCOO officials led by Andanar faced the Senate committee on finance to defend their proposed budget next year.
“Lately, the perspective of some members of the Senate is that we have completely digressed already from the original intent of the creation of the Office of the Press Secretary. It’s no longer in the landscape of the administration even in the past administration,” said Andanar.
Sotto later said that he was speaking in behalf of Senators Panfilo Lacson and Gringo Honasan.
Besides, Sotto said he was informed that the PCOO was created supposedly to “accommodate some political friends” of the previous administration.
“So, we’re thinking that perhaps this the best time while studying your budget, to review and study the possibility of reverting back into the Office of the Press Secretary,” he said.
“We can streamline that and use your current budget and, if necessary, we can infuse more budget for the office to be more effective,” he added.
Senator JV Ejercito, who presided over the hearing, agreed with the proposal. Ejercito echoed Sotto’s sentiment that the PCOO was formed to accommodate three press secretaries during the past administration. “Since we don’t have three press secretaries,” he said, “it’s high time that we go back to the old set-up.”