Despite prohibition, Mocha Uson performs at Resorts World casino

Pia Ranada
Despite prohibition, Mocha Uson performs at Resorts World casino
(UPDATED) A memorandum circular prohibits government officials from entering casinos 'in view of its negative effect on the public perception of government service'

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson performs at a bar inside a casino even if this is against President Rodrigo Duterte’s own memorandum circular.

Rappler confirmed with the staff of Bar 360, a bar on the ground floor of Resorts World Manila’s casino, that Uson has been performing there almost every week.

In fact, Uson’s last performance was on Tuesday, September 5, confirmed a service ambassador of the establishment in a phone call with Rappler on Wednesday.

The staff said when Uson cannot make it to the Tuesday performances, the group performing is referred to as Mocha Babes instead of Mocha Girls.

A Bar 360 event poster on the Resorts World website promotes the Mocha Girls’ upcoming performance on September 12.

There are also Facebook videos of her performance and Facebook photos of patrons of Bar 360 in which they are posing with Uson.

Bar 360 is located on the ground floor of Resorts World’s gaming area and is surrounded by slot machines.

An Office of the President memorandum circular prohibits government officials and employees from being seen inside a casino.

Memorandum Circular Number 6 states that if any government official or personnel enters a casino, it will be considered “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”

Signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the order states that penalties should be imposed “in view of its negative effect on the public perception of government service.”

The document reiterates an older Memorandum Circular, signed in 1986, which directs “all heads of ministries, bureaus and offices, government-owned or controlled corporations and local governments, including the AFP, to reiterate the prohibition against officials and employees under them from going to the casinos.”

In the 2016 memorandum circular, heads of government agencies are ordered to “remind and reiterate” the prohibition to their personnel and to impose penalties.

According to a Malacañang source, Secretary Martin Andanar, Uson’s superior, knows that she performs at gigs as part of Mocha Girls, and has given her his permission.

Aside from performing at Resorts World, Uson supposedly also has gigs at places like Cowboy Grill and Punchline Comedy Bar.

It is not clear, however, if Andanar knows that Uson performs inside casinos. He is yet to respond to reporters’ requests for comment.

Resorts World Manila management said in a statement that it asks those who perform to comply with all government regulations.

“Resorts World Manila has advised its entertainment providers to strictly comply with all relevant laws and regulations,” they said. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.