Mocha still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Tempo - - Front Page - By AR­GYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

The Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Op­er­a­tions Of­fice (PCOO) is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing its as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Mar­gaux “Mocha” Uson’s al­leged vi­o­la­tion of a mem­o­ran­dum or­der is­sued by Pres­i­dent Duterte last year.

The Palace move came fol­low­ing re­ports that Uson, a for­mer sexy per­former, is still per­form­ing inside a casino in Pasay City de­spite Duterte’s Mem­o­ran­dum Or­der No. 6 which pro­hibits gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from en­ter­ing such es­tab­lish­ment.

PCOO as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Kris Ablan, dur­ing the Palace press brief­ing Thurs­day morn­ing, said the mat­ter was al­ready re­ferred to the PCOO’s le­gal of­fice.

“The al­leged vi­o­la­tion is al­ready sub­mit­ted for in­ves­ti­ga­tion with PCOO’s le­gal of­fice since Asec Mocha is an as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of the PCOO,” Ablan said.

“There are ad­min pro­ce­dures and it’s still on­go­ing,” he added.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sec­re­tary Martin An­da­nar ear­lier ex­plained that Uson ac­tu­ally asked for per­mis­sion to con­tinue per­form­ing but said they will con­tinue look­ing into the mat­ter.

“Mocha asked per­mis­sion to honor her en­ter­tain­ment con­tracts when she joined gov­ern­ment. Any­how, we are still look­ing into the mat­ter of Mocha per­form­ing inside RW,” An­da­nar said.

How­ever, he said he would dis­cour­age her per­son­ally from per­form­ing in casi­nos.

“Mocha can still per­form if she wishes pero I would dis­cour­age her from per­form­ing in places like casi­nos,” An­da­nar had said.

The Palace of­fi­cial also said that they would “look into the mat­ter” in line with Pres­i­dent Duterte’s Mem­o­ran­dum Cir­cu­lar No. 6 which pro­hibits gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from en­ter­ing gam­bling places.

Duterte is­sued Mem­o­ran­dum Cir­cu­lar No. 6 last Septem­ber, 2016. It states that all gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are pro­hib­ited from go­ing to casi­nos.

“All gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees shall strictly ob­serve and com­ply with all per­ti­nent laws, is­suances, and poli­cies pro­hibit­ing gov­ern­ment per­son­nel to en­ter, stay, or play in gam­bling casi­nos,” Duterte’s cir­cu­lar read.

“In view of its neg­a­tive ef­fect on the pub­lic per­cep­tion of gov­ern­ment ser­vice as a whole, the mere en­try or pres­ence of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees in a gam­bling casino shall be con­sid­ered as con­duct prej­u­di­cial to the best in­ter­est of the ser­vice, un­less the same was in the per­for­mance of of­fi­cial du­ties and func­tions,” it added.

Mean­while, An­da­nar said that Uson’s pos­si­ble pre­ven­tive sus­pen­sion while un­der­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion is for the Of­fice of the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary (OES) to de­cide.

Duterte first ap­pointed Uson as board mem­ber of the Movie and Tele­vi­sion Re­view and Classification Board (MTRCB) be­fore she was named PCOO’s so­cial me­dia of­fice head.

Only this week, Uson was crit­i­cized for not re­mov­ing footwear and not wear­ing a hi­jab when she en­tered the Grand Mosque in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur dur­ing Duterte’s visit there on Mon­day.

MOCHA Uson

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