Officials ask Duterte to fire Mocha Uson from PCOO – source

Pia Ranada
Officials ask Duterte to fire Mocha Uson from PCOO – source
A letter from 9 PCOO officials, handed to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, asks for the assistant secretary's removal from their agency

A group of 9 officials from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) have asked President Rodrigo Duterte to remove Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson from their agency.

This was confirmed to Rappler by a source privy to a letter handed to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Friday, August 17.

The letter, signed by 9 various officials from PCOO and its attached agencies, appeals to Duterte to order Uson’s “immediate removal from PCOO.”

Medialdea was supposedly sympathetic to those behind the letter, even telling them he “understands” where they are coming from and that he too was angered by Uson’s video. Duterte himself has been informed of the request. (READ: Medialdea annoyed by Mocha Uson federalism video controversy)

Medialdea saw Rappler’s request for comment, but has so far not responded.

Uson has been in hot water for posting a video featuring a lewd federalism jingle performed by a pro-Duterte blogger on her Facebook page, which she also uses as a government official. (READ: Is Mocha Uson above reprimand?)

Her PCOO colleague, Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, admitted the video was a violation of the government code of ethics. Another official, Philippine Information Agency Director General Harold Clavite, called on Uson to apologize and go on leave.

So far, the PCOO’s only concrete action regarding the video was the issuance of a memo reminding all officials to be “more mindful” of their social media posts and to abide by gender-sensitive policies.

Former Civil Service Commission officials told Rappler that Uson could be held liable for the federalism jingle.

“If there is public outcry, she can be held liable…. It now depends on the head of the agency if he saw nothing wrong,” said former CSC chairperson Corazon Alma de Leon.

Officials sensing a breach in code of ethics can file a complaint with Duterte.

“There should be a formal complaint to the appointing authority, who will determine if there is prima facie case. The appointing authority decides on an investigation with possible suspension,” said former CSC commissioner Mary Ann Mendoza.

Duterte himself was not bothered by Uson’s video, according to Malacañang. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.