Mocha Uson begs off as speaker at Army conference
Saying she wanted to spare soldiers from criticism, singer-blogger Mocha Uson backed out of a speaking engagement at a top-level Army conference set for Tuesday morning in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Uson told her 4.9 million Facebook followers late Monday night that she had written Army chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda and apologized for her decision to back out.
Uson was supposed to discuss the challenges faced by a social media personality at the Senior Leaders Conference held in consonance with the Army’s 120th anniversary.
The Army has drawn flak on social media for inviting Uson to the conference aimed at promoting “awareness on security challenges through intellectual discourse with experts in various disciplines that impact on national security.”
The blogger and board member of the Movie and Television Review Classification Board said the Army did not deserve the backlash.
“Our soldiers do not deserve this bashing. Maawa naman kayo sa mga nag-aalay ng buhay para sa kapayapaan natin,” Uson wrote on her Facebook page, addressing critics.
“Alang-alang po sa Philippine Army — to save our soldiers from being bashed and from divisiveness — magpaparaya na lang po muna ako,” she added.
Uson, a staunch supporter of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been accused of twisting facts, spreading fake news and inciting hate on social media.
In an attempt to disprove criticism, she posted on Facebook last week the Army’s invitation for her to speak before the conference.
“Ayaw ko na sana ilabas ito pero gusto ko lang isampal sa inyo na for once mapahiya kayo dyan sa FAKE NEWS ISSUE niyo (I would not have released this, but I just want to prove you wrong with your fake news issue). Here is an invitation from the PHILIPPINE ARMY on their 120th Philippine Army Anniversary to be attended by Commanders and Top Generals in the entire Philippines. I will be their guest speaker,” Uson’s post said.
It added, “Sa tingin niyo ang tulad ko bibigyan ng opportunity mag salita sa ganyan kung FAKE NEWS BLOGGER ako (do you think I will be given an opportunity to speak in that even if I were a fake news blogger)??? So next time you call me FAKE NEWS make sure you have something to back it up or else ipapakain ko sa inyo itong invitation (I will make you eat this invitation).”
An Army officer privy to details of the conference told INQUIRER.net, on condition of anonymity, that the invitation to Uson was recalled on Sunday.
According to the officer, who spoke on Monday, the entertainer-blogger’s posting of the invitation apparently did not sit well with Army higher-ups and they had to take it back.
The source said some officers insisted on giving Uson a graceful exit by making her appear to have begged off instead.
Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao dismissed those claims. He said the Army received a letter from Uson on Monday night explaining why she no longer wanted to attend the event.
Hao said they respected her decision and her 15-minute talk would be allotted to an open discussion with other guest speakers.
Aside from Uson, administration supporter Pompee Laviña and blogger Abe Olandres were invited to talk about social media at the conference with about 180 senior officers and special guests in attendance. CBB/rga