Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson (left) with blogger, Drew Olivar (Image grabbed from Mocha Uson official FB page)
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson drew the public’s ire for a controversial video on federalism.
Uson and a friend, blogger Drew Olivar, were shown laughing while Olivar was singing and dancing lewdly to a song with the lyrics: “I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede, i-pepe-pepe-pepederalismo,” supposedly to promote the country’s shift to a federal form of government.
Senator Francis Pangilinan in a tweet said the administration should accost Uson for “disrespecting” federalism, a cause that the Duterte administration is strongly advocating.
He also called on Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to explain why he is allowing such actions under his office.
Senator Koko Pimentel said he was disappointed at having Uson in the said campaign as he expected that authorities on the matter such as members of the Consultative Committee would spearhead the federalism drive. He suggests that Uson should keep off the federalism campaign.
“Hindi ko lubos akalain na bababuyin pala nila ang kawsa ng pederalismo. Ilayo si Mocha sa pederalismo. Magaral muna siya ng mabuti. Mag-leave muna siya.
He also slammed the Assistant Secretary for the wrongful content of the supposed campaign material.
In a script reading, Olivar mentioned countries such as the US, France and Singapore as among those under a federal form of government. Among the three, US is the only one using a federal form of government. France, however, is under a unitary semi‑presidential constitutional republic while Singapore is under a parliamentary republic.
Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay claimed that the government is not serious in promoting federalism in using Uson as a chief propagandist. He said that Uson’s action reflects the President’s position as she works for the President.
Senator Chiz Escudero said such an attempt to attract the public attention on such an important issue is an act of desperation.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said that what Uson and her friend did could just be a joke. But reacting on the manner it is presented, Sotto said “theatrics” will definitely not work for such a serious topic as federalism. — Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo