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Mocha Uson’s resignation long overdue 'but whiff of fresh air' – lawmakers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Opposition lawmakers welcomed what they called the "long overdue" resignation of Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, saying the Duterte administration would now have one less "enabler of impunity" in its official ranks. 

“Her resignation is long overdue. Government service, while it is about trust, it is also about accountability. And that is what is sorely lacking from her," Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said on Wednesday, October 3.

"She's an enabler of impunity, be it for fake news or Tokhang killings or killings [and] displacements of the Lumads, and many more,” he added.

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin said Uson, who had been hounded by allegations of spreading false information on her Facebook page, only has herself to blame for all the criticism that she had received. (READ: Mocha Uson: Fake news victim or fake news peddler?)

“She's so contemptuous and full of herself. She doesn't want to be [held] accountable nor does she respects the office she holds. Her insistence not to appear in official summons of Congress and Senate belies what a public official should be doing. She's devilishly arrogant and mischief is her virtue,” said Villarin.

"As a public servant, she should not be beyond public scrutiny and admonition. Her resignation, though too little and too late, is a whiff of fresh air to a poisoned air we now breathe," he added.

Accountability

Uson’s resignation comes after the House of Representatives deferred deliberations on the PCOO’s proposed P1.41 billion budget for 2019 for the second time due to her absence. Uson appeared at the budget hearing of the PCOO at the Senate on Wednesday morning, where she announced her resignation.

Barry Gutierrez, the spokesperson of Vice President Robredo, said in a statement that Uson’s resignation was “not a loss for the country” since she had shown “many times that she is not prepared to fulfil the duties of a public servant.”

Gutierrez also said Uson should still be held accountable for her actions. 

“Huwag lang siyang magkamaling isipin na dahil nagresign na siya, hindi na siya mananagot para sa lahat ng kasinungalingan at paninirang ipinasabog niya (She should not make the mistake of assuming that now that she has resigned, she will no longer be held accountable for the lies that she had spread),” he said.

Prelude to a 2019 bid?

In announcing her resignation, Uson said she was “making a sacrifice” so that the PCOO budget would be passed.  

But ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, who had moved to defer the debates on the PCOO’s  budget at the House twice, said Uson should not use this as an excuse.

"'Wag na niyang gamitin ‘yung rason na dahil daw binibitin o nabibitin ang budget ng PCOO kailangan na lang niyang magresign. Well nandoon man siya sa PCOO o hindi, tungkulin pa rin na busisiin ang budget ng mga ahensiya,” said Castro.

(She should not use the deferment of the budget of the PCOO as her excuse to resign. Whether or not she is in the PCOO, it is my job to scrutinize the budgets of all agencies.)

Castroalso believed Uson resigned is just in time for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 elections on October 11 to 17

Hindi naman sikreto sa taongbayan na tatakbo siya as senator or congressman kung gusto niya. Welcome naman ’yon eh. Siguro preparation niya na rin ito, alam niyo na sa [Thursday] ay start ng filing ng certificate of candidacy. Tingin ko preparation niya na ito sa kanyang pagkakandidato,” said Castro.

(It’s not secret to the public that she is either running for senator or congresswoman. That’s welcome if she wants to. Perhaps this is her preparation already, because we all know the filing of certificates of candidacy is on Thursday. I think this is her preparation for her candidacy.)

On Wednesday, Uson said she was open to run in the 2019 elections, but this would depend on what her Facebook supporters tell her.  So far, she said, they had been telling her to "fight on." – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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