Andanar says OP asked Mocha to join Duterte’s foreign trips
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday said Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson is being requested by the Office of the President (OP) as well as other government agencies to join their events and some foreign trips as part of her role in the agency.
Andanar made the clarification after Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate asked for Uson’s role given that she is a public official but also posts controversial posts in her personal blog. Zarate also questioned why Uson is usually included in Duterte’s foreign trips.
“Si Asec. Mocha Uson ay reporting directly to this person. Now, ‘yung mga byahe po ni Presidente na kasama po si Asec. Mocha, siya po ay nire-request ng Office of the President to join,” Andanar said during their agency’s budget defense before the House appropriations panel.
The Presidential Communications Chief also confirmed that Uson is part of Duterte’s delegation to Israel and Jordan.
Uson, he added, is also currently tasked to host two shows, the “DDS Podcast,” and “Good News Duterte,” aside from regularly providing content to the government’s press conferences, social media accounts, and radio and television networks.
“Meron din pong mga request ang ibang mga sangay ng gobyerno at departamento na ipadala si Mocha dun para tumulong sa isang event or promotion ng isang event,” Andanar noted.
“And so far, sya po’y sumasama sa ibang lakad ni Secretary Alan Cayetano ng Department of Foreign Affairs,” he added.
Uson was earlier criticized for her controversial “Pepedederalismo” jingle video to promote federalism.
Undersecretary Marvin Gatpayat said they had received several complaints against Uson through the government’s complaint hotline, and these complaints were also referred to the Office of the Executive Secretary since the President has the jurisdiction over Uson.
“Meron din po kaming na-receive na complaints regarding sa pagpost ni Asec. Mocha sa federalism… Dinirect namin si Asec. Mocha na sagutin itong mga complaints na coursed through 8888,” Gatpayat said.
“Nagconduct po kami ng konting konting fact finding at dahil sya po ay isang presidential appointee, ang meron pong admin jusrisdiction sa kanya ay ‘yun pong OP, ito po ay idinulog po nanin sa opisina ng executive secretary para po ito’y kanilang aksyunan,” he added.
PCOO Asec. Marie Banaag also said a memorandum had been issued to all PCOO employees to remind them of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
While he said he respects Uson’s right to express, Zarate said Uson should also be held accountable for her actions since she is a public official.
“I respect the right of Asec. Mocha as an advocate of press freedom, karapatan nya ‘yun pero pag nasa office dapat maging accountable po tayo especially if you’re using public funds,” Zarate said.
PCOO’s proposed budget for 2019 is P1.474 billion. This is an increase of P39.434 million or 2.75 percent from its 2018 budget.
The committee approved the budget. /muf
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