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PCOO returns P600-M unspent funds; USec. Puyat resigns

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

PCOO Undersecretary Noel Puyat

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Noel Puyat tendered his resignation which will take effect on May 30.

But Puyat clarified that his resignation is not connected to the alleged Commission on Audit (COA) report that supposedly questioned the P647 million spending of the agency during the ASEAN summit in 2017.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier filed a resolution seeking to probe the alleged irregular PCOO spending during the country’s ASEAN chairmanship.

Puyat argued no such COA report was issued and the department even received certifications of no disallowances.

“I can even show you my six quarters of audit from COA that I have no notice of disallowance or anything from July 2016 until December 31, 2017,” he said.

He added that the agency returned around P600 million unspent funds to the National Treasury. – UNTV News & Rescue

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Senate inquiry tackles promotion of information literacy and definition of fake news

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_100417_ Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media on Wednesday began its inquiry on the proliferation of fake news on social media sites.

This comes after the blog post of a group called “Silent No More” expressed condemnation against seven senators who did not sign the Senate Resolution Number 516, which urges the government to stop the violence and killings, especially of minors.

Several social media bloggers also attended the hearing including the controversial Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, who claimed to have been victimized as well by misinformation.

However, some senators reprimanded Uson for posting what they described as questionable information on her personal Facebook page that has millions of followers.

“My question is, and its a very simple question, at the time Asec. Mocha blogged about the minority, about the opposition, about all of us, just answer yes or no, did she ask for our side?” Sen. Bam Aquino said.

Uson, on the other hand, argued she is not a journalist, but a blogger.

“First of all, sir, it is the right of a blogger to decide whether or not to seek the side of the other party. Unlike with mainstream media, they have the obligation before reporting their news,” PCOO Asec. Mocha Uson said.

Several senators reminded bloggers working with the government to be responsible in expressing their opinions on social media especially since they have many followers.

The Senate committee also sought to hear the side of the personality behind the blog Silent No More Philippines, identified as Cocoy Dayao, who did not appear at the hearing.

Dayao was allegedly part of the communications office of the previous administration.

Some professional journalists are seeking to hold liable even the officials of the government involved in proliferating misinformation and lies.

“The problem I see is when government officials themselves spread the lies. A number of politicians and public officials tend to play fast and loose with the facts, [and] in the process, misleading the public,” said Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files.

For former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, the netizens are not the ones at fault for the spread of fake news, but the dishonest government officials.

“What I consider a threat to our democratic values and danger to our marketplace of ideas is the prevalence of false information provided by public officials whether deliberately or out of sheer incompetence.  False information provided by public officials imposes special problems,” said Hilbay.

Senator Antonio Trillanes and Uson also faced off during the said hearing. The two previously had a heated exchange over the alleged offshore accounts of Trillanes.

“You are handsome in person Senator . That’s not fake news, sir,” Uson said to Trillanes.

To which Trillanes replied, “Actually, I was not planning to attend, but miss apparently Ms. Mocha misses me…just a few more flattery and I might withdraw the case I filed against you,” Trillanes replied. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Andanar looks into Mocha Uson’s alleged show inside casino

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_090717_MOCHA GIRLS

Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson (center) with her former sing-and-dance group, Mocha Girls.

 

MANILA, Philippines —  The Presidential Communications Operations Office is now checking whether Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson has violated any government rules and regulations.

It comes on the heels of reports that she still performs with her group Mocha Girls inside a casino.

Based on Memorandum Circular Number 6 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on September 2016, government personnel are prohibited from entering, staying or playing at gambling casino.

This is to ensure that government officials and employees observe the highest ethical standards while in service.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assured that his office is looking into the matter.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, on the other hand said, all government personnel must follow the existing rules and regulations of the government.

“From the palace point of view, it needs to be complied with but in this matter, it needs to be fully vetted for whatever or the actual situation,” Abella said.

UNTV News still awaits Asec. Uson’s statement on the issue but she has yet to respond to the text and calls the station sent her. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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We’ll bring government closer to the masses – Asec. Uson

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 8th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_060717_USON

MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Margaux ‘Mocha’ Uson believes that the internet is the most powerful media tool today.

This is why despite always receiving critical reactions because of her sometimes controversial posts; she says she will still use social media to make the government accessible to the public.

Uson became controversial anew after posting a photo with a caption pertaining to martial law.

In an interview with the program Get it Straight with Daniel Razon, Uson clarifies what prompted her to repost the controversial picture.

“First, I did not upload the photo. Second, I saw it from my fellow supporters. I said the caption was good because it’s a Bible verse about bowing down on our knees. That’s why I shared it. I wanted to pray for our soldiers,” Uson said.

With more than five million social media followers, Asec. Uson believes in the potential of social media to influence how the society operates.

“Did you know that because of social media, we were able to help a lot of people? First is our OFWs. They can’t ask for help from others because in embassies their concerns are not acted upon at once,” Uson added.

Uson acknowledges the difficulty of her duties under the Duterte administration.

Despite this, the former sexy star says she will do her best to perform her duties well in order to advance the advocacies of President Duterte. –  Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

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