Palace: Mocha Uson's performance in casino up for probe

THE supposed performance of former dancer and now Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson in a casino hotel in Pasay City will be subject to investigation, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Communications Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan said Uson's case, which allegedly violated an executive memorandum that bans government officials in casino hotels, was submitted to Presidential Communications Operations Office's (PCOO) legal office for a proper investigation.

"The alleged violation is already submitted for investigation with PCOO's legal office since Asec. Mocha is an assistant secretary of PCOO," Ablan told Palace reporters.

"There are procedures -- [administrative] procedures -- still ongoing," he added.

Uson, the leader of sexy dance group Mocha Girls, was reportedly seen performing at Resorts World Manila's Bar 360 in Pasay City.

Her performance was a clear violation of Memorandum Circular 6 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on September 20, 2016, which mandated all government officials and employees "to strictly observe and comply with the prohibition against going to gambling casinos."

Under the memorandum, public servants are prohibited "to enter, stay, or play in gambling casinos."

On September 8, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Uson was already advised by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar that she can still enjoy her liberty to perform in other venues, except in casinos.

"Law is clear and Secretary Andanar has discussed with Asec. Uson why we must discourage her from performing in casinos though we understand that she may have to fulfill a certain contract," Abella said.

"However, she is certainly free to continue to perform in other venues not restricted to government officials and personnel," he added.

Uson was a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and campaigned for his presidential race through her Facebook page that has reached millions of followers.

Duterte appointed Uson as Communications Assistant Secretary on May 8, 2017, to promote his public engagements through social media.

Prior to this, Uson was appointed as a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. (SunStar Philippines)
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