FAST FACTS: Who is Mocha Uson?
MANILA, Philippines – From sexy star to political blogger to a member of the Duterte administration.
Mocha Uson was appointed assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Monday, May 8. Her appointment was announced the following day.
In her new role, Uson will help in relaying the government's accomplishments and messages to Filipinos and to the media, which she had previously criticized and called "presstitutes" – a play on the words "press" and "prostitutes." (READ: How Facebook algorithms impact democracy)
Uson's compensation will fall under Salary Grade 29, equivalent to a monthly basic gross salary of at least P106,454, excluding allowances and bonuses.
Before taking on the PCOO post, she was a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Her term at the censors board started in January 2017 and was supposed to end on September 30, 2017.
Born Margaux Justiniano Uson, 34-year-old Mocha Uson gained popularity as the leader of the Mocha Girls, an all-female dance group.
She previously gave sex tips in a series of online videos. She also stirred controversy for the ways she showed her support in causes like breast cancer awareness and the passage of the then-Reproductive Health Bill.
Uson earned a degree in medical technology from the University of Santo Tomas, then attended medical school in the same university for two years before dropping out to pursue a career in the music industry.
During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Uson shed her and the Mocha Girls' racy image and rallied fellow supporters of Rodrigo Duterte – who was eventually elected president – during campaign sorties and in social media through her Facebook page Mocha Uson Blog, which now has over 5 million likes.
One of the reasons behind Mocha's support for Duterte, whom she believes would end criminality in the country, was the failure of justice in her father's death.
Mocha's father is Judge Oscar Uson, who was assigned to the local court in Tayug, a 3rd-class municipality in Pangasinan. Previously published reports said Uson was assassinated in 2002 by 4 hit men while heading home from work in Asingan town.
The 56-year-old judge was said to have been receiving death threats, prompting him to carry a gun instead of hiring a bodyguard. This did not stop his assailants who reportedly shot him thrice – twice in the chest and one below his left ear. Uson's family claimed two bodyguards of a mayor killed him.
Appeals by family members to then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to bring his attackers to justice yielded nothing. – Rappler.com