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Mocha Uson's blogger accreditation policy? 'Wala na 'yun,' says Andanar

'WISH HER WELL.' PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar has had to face tough questions from lawmakers because of resigned assistant secretary Mocha Uson's actions. Rappler photo

'WISH HER WELL.' PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar has had to face tough questions from lawmakers because of resigned assistant secretary Mocha Uson's actions.

Rappler photo

MANILA, Philippines – With Mocha Uson out of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), the formal bloggers' accreditation policy she had pushed for would no longer be implemented, said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

"Therefore ay wala na ho 'yun. Nag-expire po yung policy (So therefore, it's gone. The policy expired)," Andanar said at the PCOO budget hearing at the Senate on Wednesday, October 3.

He was responding to Senator JV Ejercito's question on what would become of the initiative.

Andanar said the policy was never implemented due to Uson's own inaction.

"Mr Chairman, the policy was never implemented because after we gave a 3-month leeway for the office of Asec Mocha to respond to the queries of Asec Ablan, wala pong naipasok na blogger (no blogger got in)," he told Ejercito.

Andanar was referring to PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan who had helped craft the Social Media Accreditation Policy.

With Uson stepping down from her post, the policy is dead in the water, unless someone else revives it. It's not yet clear if Duterte would appoint someone else to take Uson's position of assistant secretary for social media.

While the formal "Social Media Accreditation Policy" was not approved, Andanar did sign off on an "interim social media policy"  which gave a broad definition of who would be accredited. (READ: Questions PCOO needs to answer about its bloggers accreditation policy)

It stated that accreditation may be given to any Filipino citizen at least 18 years old with at least 5,000 followers in any social media platform. It allowed accredited bloggers to use curse words in their posts.

The policy covered only bloggers who "generate news and information regarding the activities of the President." They had to apply at Uson's Social Media Office.

Accreditation was given on a per-event basis only, more limiting compared to suggestions of a "social media corps" or accredited group of bloggers that some pro-Duterte online personalities wanted.

Andanar wished Uson well after her resignation and decision to resume blogging.

"Mocha is still a diehard supporter and I am one with her in that aspect. I wish her well," he said in a message.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, said he would even "miss" the controversial entertainer-turned-official, even if they had locked horns before.

"I wish her the best. I will miss her. But she did make it clear that she will continue her advocacy. Lagot po sila kay Mocha Uson (They should beware of Mocha Uson)," said Roque. – Rappler.com 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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