COMMUNICATIONS Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson on Wednesday told a Senate inquiry that she is also a victim of fake news.
During the Senate probe into the spread of false news in the country, Uson said some mainstream media had produced fake news against her.
"Biktima na po ako ng fake news [I'm a victim of false news]," she said.
"Hindi pa po ako naapoint bilang opisyal ng gobyerno, naglabas na ang ABS-CBN [ng report] na ako po ay naapoint as Customs Consultant. Dahil po doon ako po ay na-bash online," Uson added.
[Even before I was appointed as a government official, ABS-CBN has released a report that I was appointed as Customs consultant. Because of that I got bashed.]
Uson also said that another television giant, GMA-7, reported that she took a selfie inside a mosque in the war-stricken Marawi City.
The report was untrue, she said.
GMA news online Editor-in-chief Jaemark Tordecilla said that said news report quoted Marawi Crisis Management Committee head Zia Alonto Adiong.
In the report, Adiong was quoted by GMA-7 as saying that Uson entered the mosque with her boots on and without a hijab and took a selfie.
The GMA-7 said they sought Uson's side, to which she denied.
Uson, when given the chance by the Senate panel, asked Tordecilla why the GMA-7 failed to seek her comment.
To this, Senator Bam Aquino interjected and asked Uson if she is also getting the side of the opposition when she reports them on her blog.
Uson explained she is not a journalist but a blogger but when further pressed by the senator she refused to comment.
Senator Nancy Binay told Uson that she cannot separate her being a blogger to her job as a government official. The senator further said Uson should choose between blogging and her job as a government official.
Aside from giant broadcasting companies, Uson said she was also reported by Facebook page "Madam Claudia" of receiving a cheque from former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., to which, she denied.
The said Facebook page has more than 11,000 followers.
Uson, in her blog consistently defends Duterte and criticizes members of the opposition, most of them allies of the Liberal Party.
She has previously committed blunders, prompting the netizens to take to social media their call for the government to oust Uson.
#FireMocha previously trended on Twitter after Uson urged members of the opposition to visit the wake of a cop who died a year ago.
People behind fake news
At the Senate hearing, Rey Joseph Nieto of popular blog Thinking Pinoy exposed the names of some personalities allegedly behind fake news against the Duterte administration and those who are closed to the administration.
Nieto mentioned the name of Edward Angelo "Cocoy" Dayao, an alleged former consultant of the Presidential Communication and Operations Office, as the web administrator of the "Silent No More" website.
Nieto said Nina Tirol Zialcita of ProPinoy net and a certain Pete Silva, working under the office of Vice President Leni Robredo as allegedly behind the fake news against former Senator Ferdinand Marcos on the Oxford University issue and his son, Zandro Marcos.
"I was able to find out who the account holder is the Silent No More and that is Cocoy Dayao," Nieto revealed as he urged the Senate to invite and Dayao, Tirol and Silva in the next hearing.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate public information and mass media committee, said Dayao was invited but he was a no-show at the hearing.
"We already invited Dayao. Ang nakakatawa siya ang naglabas ng silent no more pero ngayon siya ang silent at hindi nga nag appear dito sa hearing natin sa Senado," Poe said.
At the same hearing, Senator Francis Pangilinan asked if Nieto is connected with the government, to which he answered that he is currently working as a consultant under the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
"Do you know that you are now receiving money from the taxpayers. Being now a consultant in the government, you are now bound by the Code of Conduct. It is time rethink because you have now a sensitive position," Pangilinan told Nieto as he reminded him to know the Code of Conduct for public employees and observe political neutrality while he is in government.
"But it is allowed. Please send a complaint. If I was given a choice, I will not work in the DFA. I have 700,000 followers. And my purpose in the DFA is to reach out to the OFWs," Nieto citing the fact that his position is not sensitive and citing the Civil Service Commission law that being a consultant does not mean he has to discontinue his regular blog.
Nieto maintained that he is still a blogger and his consultancy job at the DFA does not require an employee or employer relationship. (SunStar Philippines)