PCOO official calls on Mocha Uson to apologize, go on leave

Pia Ranada

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PCOO official calls on Mocha Uson to apologize, go on leave
'As a public servant and being part of the PCOO family, I take great offense in Ms Uson’s actions,' says Philippine Information Agency director-general Harold Clavite

MANILA, Philippines – A fellow Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) executive has asked Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson to publicly apologize and go on leave after her controversial video of a lewd federalism jingle.

Harold Clavite, Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency, took to Facebook to say he found Uson’s video offensive and an insult to other government workers.

“I respectfully urge Ms Mocha Uson to take a leave of absence to think and reconfigure all her strategies putting into consideration the code of conduct and ethical standards that all public officials should adhere to,” he said in a public Facebook post on Tuesday, August 7.

He also said that “a public apology from the PCOO official is paramount.”

“We have been sitting idly by for too long, and it is about time that someone speaks up and hold erring officials accountable for repeatedly tarnishing the reputation of our government,” he added.

Clavite admitted something that has been long suspected by Malacañang insiders – that not all PCOO officials get along with Uson or find her actions acceptable.

“As far as I’m concerned, Ms Uson’s actions since her appointment have time and again proven to be in poor taste — a display of an utter lack of judgment and have maligned our profession as government communicators,” said Clavite.

The PCOO official said he decided to speak out in honor of the “massive man-hours” his office, the PIA, has devoted to seminars and trainings on proper communication of government information, which Uson’s actions have appeared to put to waste.

“As a public servant and being part of the PCOO family, I take great offense in Ms Uson’s actions, which continuously damages the rectitude of my communication and public information agenda,” said Clavite.

“I can no longer let her obscure and vilify my honest work in helping the President, this government, and this country, as well as the efforts that we have painstakingly and patiently put into place under my leadership in PIA for the past two years,” he added.

He described the federalism jingle, performed by blogger Drew Olivar with Uson’s encouragement and in her office in Malacañang, as “degrading to the women and mothers in our communities.”

The dance and jingle referred to women’s private parts.

So far, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque have distanced themselves from the incident or have given vague answers on whether or not Uson would be held accountable for the controversial federalism jingle. (READ: Is Mocha Uson above reprimand?)

President Rodrigo Duterte himself supposedly was not bothered by it.

This despite lawmakers, including Duterte’s own ally Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, raising hell over the lewd song and dance number posted on Uson’s Facebook page.

Consultative Committee members, composed of former justices, lawmakers, and political science experts appointed by Duterte, were also “up in arms” about Uson’s video. – 

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.