Some minority legislators defend Mocha: Not fair to belittle her
MANILA, Philippines – At least 3 legislators from the House minority defended Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson amid criticism over an award she received from the University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s alumni association.
Uson, who graduated with a mechanical technology from the university, was given the Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service during an event on January 21. She was awarded alongside other alumni serving in various branches of government.
Uson’s award was met with criticism, including from alumni of UST themselves.
“I cannot criticize the institution that has given me this recognition. In fact, I thank them for it. I have nothing to say to the opinions of others. Kung sila po ay di sang-ayon sa pagkilala sa amin (If they disagree with the recognition given to us), that’s their right,” said Buhay Representative Lito Atienza in a press briefing on January 24.
“I don’t think it’s fair for us to belittle [Uson’s work]. Have you been able to do the work she did?” said Atienza, who in many instances has taken on stands opposite to that of the Duterte-allied House supermajority.
Uson, an entertainer-turned-Palace-official, is a self-confessed “die-hard” supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte. Uson has also been known to spread fake news on her Facebook page, which has millions of followers.
In the past, Uson has also criticized the “mainstream media” for supposedly being biased against Duterte and the administration. She has falsely claimed in the past that the media neglected to report on certain achievements of the administration.
In response to the awarding of Uson, several prominent UST alumni returned similar awards from the university. Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin, a member of the House opposition, returned his award to the association.
After several days of criticism and several statements questioning why she received the award, top officials of the alumni association stepped down. Uson then offered to return the award.