Mocha now subject to public scrutiny, lawmakers say
Militant party-list representatives allied with the Duterte administration on Thursday reminded controversial blogger and recently appointed Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson to have “some discernment” in her new job as she would now be “subjected to scrutiny” by the public.
“The moment she accepted the appointment, she has to [have] some discernment,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said. “She should now go beyond her habit of [engaging] in public discourse on social media. She accepted this office that comes with responsibility and she should not [use it] for her personal interest.”
While her job as President Duterte’s communications officer was to “deodorize and defend the appointing authority,” Casilao said everything Uson did now in an official capacity would be “subjected to scrutiny” by the public.
“If she continues with her mistakes, she can be liable and be held accountable” as head of the social media arm of the government’s communications team, he said.
“Everything has its limits,” Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said, adding that she hoped Uson would use her new position “for the interest of the people” to help uplift people’s lives.
But Brosas also urged the public to still “speak out with their dissenting opinions” even if Uson was now a government official.
Uson has been criticized for spreading fake news in at least four instances on her blog that, she claimed, has
5 million followers.
In March, the Philippine Army invited the former bold entertainer to speak at a senior leaders’ symposium but was forced to rescind the invitation when it was met with vociferous protests from netizens.
Uson has also used her blog to attack Duterte detractors and members of the political opposition, particularly Vice President Leni Robredo.
“We should watch her closely because if she abuses her [government position], then it is [incumbent upon] us to criticize [her] and seek redress,” Casilao said.
Among those who criticized Uson’s appointment was Binibining Pilipinas International Maria Angelica “Mariel” de Leon who broke the traditional mold of compliant beauty queens to tweet her candid take on the former starlet’s official designation.
De Leon questioned Uson’s qualifications and credentials in her recently deleted tweets captured by the Philippine Entertainment Portal.
“Biased and disrespectful. She insults those who are against her. I’m not for her, I’m not for the other side (whatever that may be),” De Leon tweeted.
“I love my country so it breaks my heart to know someone like her got a position in the gov’t,” the beauty queen added. “There are so many [other] unbiased, educated, and respected (and respectful) people who deserve her place.”
In another tweet, De Leon chided netizens who bashed her for being outspoken about her political beliefs. “That’s why we’re not evolving. Because some people care more about the superficial than what really matters. It’s always country over crown,” she said.
De Leon said beauty queens like her could also voice out their thoughts on different issues under the Duterte administration.
“I hope that change will come. And I hope that I can use my voice and my platform to be part of that change,”
she posted on her social networking site. “There are so many issues happening in our country now so I’m glad that I have the platform now to voice my opinions.”
De Leon, the daughter of seasoned actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas International on April 30, succeeding Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza. —WITH A REPORT FROM GIANNA FRANCESCA CATOLICO, INQUIRER.NET
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