MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he will check on reports that his department’s assistant secretary Mocha Uson violated government orders prohibiting public officials from entering casinos.
“PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) is looking into the matter,” said Andanar in a terse response to media on Thursday, September 7.
Later on in the day, he added that he would discourage Uson from performing inside casinos.
“Mocha can still perform if she wishes but I would discourage her from performing in places like casinos,” said Andanar.
Uson performs almost regularly at a bar inside a Resorts World Manila casino even if a Memorandum Circular issued by Malacañang prohibits government officials from entering casinos.
The same document orders heads of government agencies, such as Ananar, to remind their personnel of this prohibition and mete out the appropriate penalties.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, said the Memorandum Circular must be complied and there should be an investigation to confirm if Uson is guilty of any violation.
“From the Palace point of view, [the] policy needs to be complied with. But in this matter, it needs to be property vetted” he said.
Duterte’s spokesman distanced himself from the issue, saying it is a matter for Andanar to address.
“That will have to be a matter to be settled by the PCOO,” he said.
A Palace source said Andanar is aware of Uson’s gigs at various bars and has given her his permission to perform in them. It is not clear, however, if he was aware that some of these performances were done inside a casino. – Rappler.com