MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Is singer-dancer Mocha Uson a “social media consultant” at the Bureau of Customs?
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon reportedly confirmed Uson’s designation, according to an ABS-CBN News report on Thursday, August 4, which quoted him as saying so.
Faeldon, however, denied this to Rappler and claimed he had been “misquoted.”
“She wanted to help us disseminate the information, anything that has to do with BOC. Mocha is a very active blogger so I also asked her to please help us disseminate our reform agenda through her blog,” the BOC chief said in a phone interview with Rappler.
“She advised also on how to improve our social media activities. But there is no official appointment. We invite everyone, you can also help us if you want. It’s a voluntary act on her part,” he added.
The BOC also tweeted the clarification shortly after the report was made.
JUST IN: Comm. Nicanor Faeldon will not appoint Mocha Uson as BOC Social Media Consultant but she can write articles about BOC on her blog.— Bureau of Customs PH (@CustomsPH) August 4, 2016
Nearly 4 million people have liked Uson’s Facebook page, while she has over 96,000 followers on Twitter.
Reports about Uson’s supposed post came after the staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte interviewed Faeldon and posted the details on her Facebook page. Her reported appointment spurred angry and funny comments from netizens. (READ: #DutertePleaseAppointMe: Which gov’t position do you want?)
In her blog post on Faeldon, Uson said she sought an interview with the Customs chief out of “curiosity,” after many overseas Filipino workers sent her messages to complain about “high taxes” on balikbayan boxes, and how these packages sometimes don’t reach their intended recipients.
She explained Faeldon’s fight for reforms in the graft-ridden agency, and the difficulty of weeding out corrupt BOC members as due process should be observed.
Uson, founder of the popular dance group Mocha Girls, was among Duterte’s most vocal and outspoken supporters during the campaign.
Uson had said that Duterte’s anti-crime platform resonated with her as her father, Judge Oscar Uson, was killed in 2007 apparently in connection to a case he was handling. (READ: Mocha Uson supports Duterte: This is what she’s talking about)
Duterte had appointed several of his celebrity supporters to government, and is reportedly keen on tapping singer Freddie Aguilar as chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), but the position is subject to election by the NCCA Board of Commissioners.
The President had nominated singer Jimmy Bondoc and comedian Arnell Ignacio as assistant vice presidents at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com