Mocha Uson, the controversial senior official at the Presidential Communications Operations Office, responded to the complaint filed against her at the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday in an unconventional way.
Officials who face legal complaints and accusations usually release a statement denying them. Sometimes, when evidence is apparently on their side, they would cite this in their press release and express confidence that they would be able to defend themselves in court.
Some even use their privilege to deliver a speech to assuage the public. They also attack the persona of the accuser by citing conflicts of interest, possible hidden agenda and political motives.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself uses his airtime at events he is invited to respond to accusations, such as when he declared the withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court.
On Monday, Akbayan Youth lodged charges of “grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service” against Uson. The group said she spread fake news though her Facebook blog and broadcast segment on dzBB.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa Akbayan Youth dahil binigyan po nila ako ng idea sa magiging pangalan ng aking future coffee shop.
“Ito ang Fire Mocha Café. Abangan niyo po ‘yan. Salamat!” — Mocha Uson
When Akbayan Youth filed administrative charges against her, they held coffee cups and protest signs that read “#FireMocha.”
They also captioned one of the videos they shared on Facebook with “How do you like your Mocha? Fired!”
It was a play to Nestlé’s commercial where they advertised different ways on how people can enjoy their mocha-based drinks.
Uson’s supporters applauded the assistant secretary for her ability to make a joke about the issue. A user commented that she should flavor her products in mocha.
Another one said that he would undoubtedly patronize her café once it is built.
While her idea of putting up a café was met with positivity, others lambasted her for entertaining the thought.
Uson was criticized for posting links to websites not reputed to deliver verified information. She also once shared a photo of a dead girl who was supposedly a victim of drug-dependent criminals. The photo was found to have been taken in Brazil.
She also shared a picture of Honduras policemen and falsely identified them as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
— ALT Team AFP (@AltTeamAFP) May 29, 2017
Uson also noted that there was a “263rd article” in the 1987 Philippine Constitution when she commented on a tax evasion case. The current constitution only has 18 articles. — with Jeline Malasig