P90-M federalism info drive faces Senate scrutiny
Describing the campaign video released by Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson as “reek(ing) of impropriety and disrespect,” Sen. Grace Poe has called for an inquiry into the P90-million information drive on the government’s shift to federalism.
Poe, who chairs the Senate public information committee, filed Senate Resolution No. 821, directing her panel to look into the circumstances behind the release of the video that drew a firestorm of condemnation.
The clip featured Uson and pro-Duterte blogger Drew Olivar, who did a raunchy dance to the words “I-pepe, i-pepe. I-dede, i-dede. I-pede, pede, pede, pederalismo,” all the while rubbing his crotch and touching his chest.
“Pepe” and “dede” are vernacular terms for vagina and breasts.
Uson, who claims to have more than 5 million followers on social media, had been tapped to lead the information campaign on federalism, but officials later walked back the talk.
Of no help
Poe said Uson had “vowed to ‘simplify’ information on federalism through social media,” but released the video clip instead.
“The video, which showcased toilet humor on a rather serious issue, does not help explain federalism to the people,” the senator said, adding that this was unfortunate “especially at a time when only 37 percent of Filipinos support the shift to a federal form of government, and only one out of four Filipinos is aware of what federalism is.”
Poe added: “Public office is a public trust, and officials must at all times exercise professionalism in the performance of their functions.”
In Naga City, Vice President Leni Robredo said Uson’s video clip reflected badly on President Duterte.
Giving Duterte ‘a bad rap’
She does not tolerate the lasciviousness of Uson and Olivar in the video, Robredo told the local media on Thursday, adding that the two were not helping President Rodrigo Duterte at all.
“If their purpose was to help, they obviously failed. They’re giving the President a bad rap because they are his supporters. They should have been spreading only good stuff about (Mr. Duterte),” the Vice President said.
Robredo also expressed dismay about the video being shot inside a government office during office hours under the supervision of government officials paid through people’s taxes.
“The way it was done disrespected not only the President but all Filipinos,” Robredo said.
“Is this the kind of vulgar stuff that we’re promoting as Filipinos?” she asked. “No. If needed, we will intervene to stop this. A lot of us have criticized this and noted the lies that are being peddled for so long. We’ve kept silent before because we thought they weren’t worth our while.” —WITH A REPORT FROM STEPHANIE FLORIDA
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