Sack Mocha for spreading fake news, youth leaders ask Ombudsman
Youth and student leaders filed on Monday an administrative complaint against Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson for allegedly using her position to proliferate “fake news” and silence the critics of the government.
In the 10-page complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Akbayan Youth sought for Uson’s “removal from office and dismissal from service” over grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service.
“Asec. Mocha is one of the biggest purveyors of disinformation in this government. We are drawing the line versus Mocha and all other government officials who lie to the public,” said Shahmah Bulangis, co-convenor of Youth Resist, which is part of Akbayan Youth.
“Hindi tanga ang mga Pinoy. Wala na silang maloloko sa kanilang mapang-abusong panloloko. Kailangan na siyang matanggal sa pwesto,” she added.
Before the filing, youth and student leaders carried protest signs and coffee cups with faces of Uson with the call #FireMocha.
“Public service is no joke. Our taxes are wasted on public officials whose only jobs are to lie to the Filipino people,” said Bas Claudio, secretary general of Akbayan Youth UP Diliman.
“Disinformation only helps the Duterte dictatorship. Ang tao ang talo sa fake news,” said Nathan Austria, a student leader from the University of Sto. Tomas.
Despite being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as a Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary on May 8, 2017, Uson maintains a public and open blog called “Mocha Uson Blog.”
She also has a radio/television segment in radio station DZRH.
Akbayan Youth members said her online and public persona have been a “source of numerous and deliberate misinformation.”
This, the group said, is contrary to the mandate of the PCOO to “ensure transparency and full and appropriate disclosure of policies, programs, official activities, and achievements of the Office of the President and the Executive Branch which are of public concern, and to inform and communicate the same to the Filipino people.”
The group also accused Uson of being a threat to the security of people who express their criticisms against the government, citing an instance when she made “public arbitrary ascertainment of facts which resulted to cyberbullying attacks against students who were in their right to peacefully protest.”
The youth organization also asserted that Uson is “not competent to discharge her functions as a public officer,” and commits “gross dishonesty by deliberately using misleading statements.”
Moreover, Akbayan Youth pointed out Uson “uses her powers for the improper purpose of stifling dissenting officials from the opposition, an action which is contrary to the Constitution.”
In 2017, opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV similarly hurled seven criminal and administrative charges against Uson for spreading “fake news” about his supposed offshore bank accounts.
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