Solon returning UST alumni award to protest Mocha’s selection | Inquirer News
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Solon returning UST alumni award to protest Mocha’s selection

/ 05:08 AM January 24, 2018

UST students protest against the award given to Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, while denouncing “attacks on press freedom” under the Duterte administration, in a rally outside their Manila campus on Monday night. —Grig C. Montegrande

Tomasito Villarin —17thcongressneophytes.com

Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin on Tuesday said he would return the award he received over the weekend from the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association Inc. (USTAAI), joining the outrage over the organization’s decision to give the same award to controversial blogger and Palace communications official, Mocha Uson.

The opposition lawmaker scoffed at USTAAI’s explanation that Uson earned the award for meeting the only criteria of being a UST alumna working in the government.

“If that were true, then all Thomasian civil servants should have also been given such an award,” said Villarin, who like Uson is among this year’s recipients of USTAAI’s “Gawad Thomasian Alumni in Government Service.”

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The lawmaker said he initially accepted the award “in good faith” and felt humbled by the gesture, but this changed after it was reported that Uson was an awardee, too.

“Uson is a purveyor of fake news, an unrepentant violator of ethical standards in journalism, and a free-flowing fountain of foul language and obscenity. She has corrupted the values that Thomasians hold dear,” he said.

A sexy performer who supported Rodrigo Duterte during the presidential campaign and continued to attack the President’s critics through her blog, Uson was appointed assistant secretary under the Presidential Communications Operations Office in May 2017.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Uson, a UST medical technology graduate, lashed back at those jeering USTAAI’s decision, saying: “Paalala: Ang amplaya [sic] ay kinakain[,] hindi inuugali. (Reminder, bitter gourd is something you eat, not an attitude you show.)”

Thomasians questioning her award were just being “sobrang OA (overacting),” she said.

In support of Uson, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said the award “validates that her appointment was for good reason.” —VINCE F. NONATO

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TAGS: Mocha Uson, Thomasian Alumni Award, Tomasito Villarin, USTAAI
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