MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Monday, August 6, slammed Palace Assistant Communication Secretary Mocha Uson after her co-host performed a lewd dance supposedly raising awareness on federalism.
Pimentel, president of ruling party PDP-Laban and a staunch federalism advocate, said Uson is degrading the administration’s cause.
The Consultative Committee (Con-Com) behind the draft federal charter has tapped the dancer-turned- government official to raise federalism awareness on social media.
In the one-hour video, Drew Olivar, Uson's co-host in the "Good News Game Show," was seen singing "I-pepe" and "i-dede" while dancing and gesturing to his crotch and chest areas. He then yelled "I-pederalismo" at the end of the number.
It was obscene, wrote Filipinos on their social media posts.
Responding to criticism, Uson explained that the online show was produced even before she was asked by the Con-Com and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to help with the federalism campaign.
Uson also downplayed her role in the campaign, saying she is neither its spokesperson nor ambassador and that she was just tapped to help on social media.
Pimentel said he was wrong when he initially thought that Uson could help explain the issue to the public.
“'Di ko lubos akalain na bababuyin pala nila ang kawsa ng pederalismo. Ilayo na si Mocha sa pederalismo. Mag-aral muna siya nang mabuti. Mag-leave muna siya,” Pimentel told reporters on Monday.
(I could not imagine that they would besmirch the cause of federalism. Mocha should be removed from the federalism campaign. She should study first. She should take a leave first.)
“Hindi [ako] galit (I am not angry) but disappointed that the 'best and the brightest' appointed to this government can come up with only that kind of bullshit,” he added.
Pimentel said that even without the lewd dance number, government officials have been giving out “wrong substance” and information on federalism.
Following the Con-Com’s decision to tap Uson, Senator Nancy Binay earlier called on the dancer to present to the Senate the contents of her federalism lectures.
Uson, a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been criticized for spreading false and misleading information online. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com