WATCH | Trillanes sues Mocha Uson for ‘cyber libel’ at Ombudsman over ‘fake news’

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Philstar file photo of Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson, who he accused of three counts of “the cybercrime offense of libel” and of using falsified documents.

Uson is an entertainer who heads the “Mocha Girls” who has used her social media popularity to support President Rodrigo Duterte and attack his critics and political opponents.

In doing so, she has been criticized for concocting and spreading “fake news.”

In the complaint he filed Friday, September 22, Trillanes also asked the Ombudsman to find Uson administratively liable for grave misconduct and violating both the Code of Ethics and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act because of her continued performances with her group despite her government position.

The senator’s complaint stemmed from the “derogatory article/Facebook post” on Uson’s social media account that shared a post by an account called “Davao Breaking News,” on supposed bank accounts owned by Trillanes.

One of the shared posts, said Trillanes’ complaint, was accompanied by Uson’s comment:

“Alleged tagong yaman ni Trillanes. Tingnan natin kung ilalabas ito ng GMA News, ABS-CBN News, News5, CNN Philippines, Rapple, Inquirer.net”

“In the same article/Facebook post, Ms. Uson shared the images of and links to what appeared to be a number of uniform computer printed documents purportedly being offered to prove that the undersigned (Trillanes) had numerous bank accounts in foreign banks, which purportedly constitute his ‘tagong yaman’ (‘hidden wealth’),” it added.

 

Earlier, aside from Uson, Trillanes had also threatened to sue for libel broadcaster Erwin Tulfo and a Davao-based journalist who reportedly maintains “Davao Breaking News.”

The purported bank accounts were also cited by President Rodrigo Duterte to attack his arch-critic Trillanes.

Early this week, the senator went to Singapore , where he supposedly maintains an account, and got the DSB Bank to confirm that he had no deposits with them.

Despite this, Duterte then claimed that he deliberately left out a digit from the purported bank account number cited by Uson and Tulfo to mislead Trillanes.

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