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‘Mocha isn’t off the hook just yet’
Mocha Uson
READ: Three tales of ‘endo’ in government service: Bowed out

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Uson’s resignation had nothing to do with the ongoing probe of the complaints filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Akbayan Youth and the Philippine Federation of the Death.
On Sept. 28—the day Uson resigned—Martires said the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office sent a letter ordering her and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar to file their own comment within 10 days on the complaint filed by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf.
The letter, signed by Asst. Ombudsman Joselito Fangon told Uson to submit within 10 days a written explanation or comment on a complaint filed by four complainants over a video she posted on her Facebook page that mocked people with disabilities.
Uson also faces complaints about an earlier video in which her sidekick, blogger Drew Olivar, danced while pointing to his crotch and breasts as mnemonic devices for federalism.
Although Uson may no longer be suspended or dismissed, she could be disqualified from public office, effectively stopping her from running in the next elections.
Uson on Thursday shot back at Vice President Leni Robredo, whose spokesman had said her resignation would not spare her from liability for her lies and scandals.
Talking to UNTV, Uson said it was the vice president who was full of lies, and that even her position was a big lie—a reference to the election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr

Assistant Secretary for Communications Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been the fair-haired girl of the Duterte administration—much to its detriment.


The former sexy dancer turned blogger had actively campaigned for Mr. Duterte in 2016 and was rewarded with a high-paying job at the Presidential Communications Operation Office.

Since her appointment, Uson has committed a series of gaffes, and in all of these blunders, she had defended herself haughtily, arrogantly. Ironically she and her legion of defenders dismiss her critics as purveyors of fake news or out to bring down their revered “Tatay Digong.”
It has escaped us for long why the Palace has continued to stand behind Uson despite her misadventures. Our best guess was that her millions of followers gave her enough clout to do as she pleased in the name of spreading the word. Proof of her good standing at the Palace is the decision to tap her services in the information campaign for the proposed federal form of here government.
This weekend, however, Uson crossed the line.
In a video posted on her Facebook blog Sunday, Uson, along with companion Andrew Olivar, attempted a federalism tutorial complete with an obscene song-and-dance number, a simplistic analogy and a script of dubitable accuracy read aloud like a high school class report.
If Uson succeeded in anything, it is in insulting the hard work of the consultative commission that proposed a draft constitution that, if approved, would govern the transition to the federal form.
It is in denigrating the sober matter of governance and trivializing hopes that a new structure of government would improve the lives of millions of Filipinos.
Uson successfully turned people against federalism, not because people were able to weigh its foreseen benefits against the costs, but because it is now associated a lewd Tagalog equivalent and equally lewd dance moves.
She easily made the Duterte administration, which she is supposed to speak for and represent, look stupid, irreverent and laughable.
With any luck, her latest stunt should convince the President that he has risked enough in having her on board—and getting the rest of us to foot her insanely high commanding price.
What would be the most vulgar of all is if Uson gets to keep her cushy job and continue to enjoy her perks despite the near-universal outrage at her acts.

Duterte News - Latest News Updates in the Philippines



President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the second presidential critic from the Senate to be threatened with detention.
Arrest Trillanes—Duterte
ORDERED ARRESTED. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV gives his statement at the Senate Tuesday where he is holed up—to avoid arrest—following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order which revoked the grant of amnesty, with opposition politicians condemning the order. (Inset) PNP-CIDG personnel wait outside the Senate for Trillanes to appear. Ey Acasio
Trillanes, who is holed up in the Senate to avoid arrest, has also in the past accused Duterte of corruption and his son of involvement in drug dealing, drawing a pledge of revenge from the President.

Opposition politicians immediately condemned the arrest order as political. They compared it with the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima, who is behind bars on drug charges that she says are false.
Trillanes’ arrest order stems from an amnesty granted in 2010 over his involvement in a coup attempt against then-President Gloria Arroyo and another effort to overthrow her.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are ordered to employ all lawful means to apprehend... Trillanes,” said the order printed in the Manila Times.
The government said Duterte has canceled the pardon because Trillanes, a former navy officer, did not complete the requirements of filing an official application and admitting guilt.

Duterte is out of the country on an official visit to Israel.
Trillanes led scores of junior officers in taking over part of the Oakwood Premier in 2003 to protest Arroyo’s alleged corruption and mismanagement.
Duterte also wants Trillanes put on trial for his brief takeover of the Manila Peninsula hotel in 2007 after he and several armed followers seized the hotel and demanded Arroyo’s resignation.
The arrest order came a year after Trillanes had Duterte’s eldest son Paolo brought before a Senate public inquiry to face allegations—which he denied—that he was involved in drug trafficking.
Trillanes also accused the President of hiding unexplained millions in his bank accounts.
Duterte vowed at the time to exact revenge. “I will destroy him or he will destroy me,” he said in a speech.
Operatives from the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group were deployed outside the Senate building, apparently to carry out Duterte’s arrest order.
Duterte signed Proclamation 572 to revoke the senator’s amnesty given by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
In the proclamation, Duterte said Trillanes did not file an Official Amnesty Application Form as per certification dated Aug. 30, 2018, issued by Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, stating “there is no copy of his application for amnesty in the records.”
But the Palace defended the move as being “based on law and facts.”
“We are saying he was given amnesty by President Aquino because of politics and the declaration of void ab initio is based on law and on facts,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in a press briefing in Israel.
“In the first place, he did not ask for the amnesty. It was given to him on a silver platter by the previous administration. So, when you did not ask for amnesty, you are not entitled to it,” Roque said.
Roque, who read the contents of the Proclamation No. 572, said the grounds for the declaration were Trillanes’ failure to admit his crimes or any involvement with illegal acts and his failure to file an application for amnesty.
“The acknowledgment [of the crimes] is important because the amnesty is an act of beneficence on the part of the State. It will rub out all the incidence like nothing happened, but it needs a confession-- which Trillanes failed to do,” Roque said.
Roque also dismissed claims that the Duterte administration is hitting back on one of its top critics, insisting there’s nothing political behind the call for the apprehension of Trillanes.
He also said that the revocation does not need concurrence of Congress.
“It’s not needed because first of all, it’s the job of the President to enforce the law. So, when it was confirmed that Trillanes did not meet the preconditions for amnesty, the Executive declared it void ab initio,” said Roque.
“But Senator Trillanes will have his day in court, not only to prove his innocence on the charges of coup d’état against him, but also on the revocation of the amnesty. I’m sure he will go running to court,” he added.
Roque said they were not undoing Trillanes’ amnesty.
“We are not undoing it. It was never effective because he did not comply with the requirements, that’s the meaning of void ab initio. There’s nothing to undo because it’s not valid from the very beginning,” Roque said.
Roque also denied claims that the move was sudden, saying officials began reviewing Trillanes’ case two years ago.
“It’s two years in the offing. There was maximum tolerance shown, but when it was confirmed that there was no compliance with the requirements set forth for the amnesty, the President didn’t have any alternative but to execute the law,” Roque said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra echoed Roque, saying Trillanes’ amnesty never existed.
“It has never been valid for non-compliance with certain mandatory requirements,” he said.
He also denied that the revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty was politically motivated.
“It’s not a question of political opposition. It’s a matter of compliance with the law,” Guevarra said.
The Justice Department has sought the issuance of a hold departure order and an arrest warrant against Trillanes.
Calida declined to comment website on Trillanes’ claim that he was behind the revocation of his amnesty.
A Defense department official said without the amnesty, Trillanes was considered back in active duty.
Defense department spokesman Arsenio Andolong said Trillanes would then have to face administrative and criminal charges in connection with the coup attempts against the Arroyo administration.
Aquino, who granted Trillanes pardon under his term, said he personally reviewed the records, vouching that the senator applied for the program.
In an interview with Rappler, Aquino called on the government to respect and recognize the amnesty.

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