MANILA, Philippines – The chairperson of the Senate committee on public information and mass media wants to probe the government’s information drive on federalism following the much-reviled video of Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, one of the people tapped to help in the campaign.
Senator Grace Poe has filed Senate Resolution 821 for her panel to conduct an inquiry into the federalism information campaign of the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
The resolution said the inquiry would be conducted “with the objectives of fulfilling the precepts of accountability and transparency and implementing full disclosure of all transactions involving public interest.”
The government has allotted P90 million for the information drive.
“Uson’s latest antics reek of impropriety and disrespect to the Con-Com nor it helps elevate public discourse,” the resolution said.
“It is important that public office is a public trust, and officials must at all times exercise professionalism in the performance of their functions,” it added.
Poe said in her resolution that Uson’s video “which showcased toilet humor on a rather serious issue does not help explain federalism to the people.”
She cited the importance of a proper information drive on the initiative, as recent surveys showed that a majority of Filipinos are opposed to the shift to a federal system of government, and that only one in 4 Filipinos know about it at this time.
Other senators had denounced Uson’s one-hour video with blogger Drew Olivar shot in her office in Malacañang’s New Executive Building and posted on her Facebook page.
The Con-Com behind the draft federal charter submitted to Congress earlier tapped Uson to raise federalism awareness on social media, but its chairman, retired justice Reynato Puno, reportedly said he never authorized it.
Malacañang had said that Duterte was “very cool” about the video as the Chief Executive is a “believer in freedom of expression.” – Rappler.com