By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
A disappointed Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Monday slammed Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson for her controversial video about federalism with a blogger co-host which went viral.
Pimentel, a known federalism advocate, said he was wrong to think that Uson can help explain the government’s thrust on its proposed transition to a federal system after seeing her viral video tackling the matter.
“Ako ay nagkamali! Akala ko makakatulong si Mocha sa pagpapaliwanag tungkol sa Pederalismo (I was wrong! I thought Mocha can help in explaining federalism to the public),” Pimentel told reporters when asked about the controversial video.
Pimentel said he thought that Uson would allow an authority who has “more knowledge on federalism,” particularly members of President Duterte’s Consultative Commission (Con-Com). In his disapproval, the senator urged Uson to take a leave and study first.
“Di ko lubos akalain na bababuyin pala nila ang kawsa ng Pederalismo. Ilayo na si Mocha sa Pederalismo. Mag-aral muna siya ng mabuti. Mag-leave muna siya (I did not quite expect that she will make dirty the cause of federalism. Mocha should distance herself from federalism. She should study first. She should take a leave),” Pimentel said.
Pimentel, who earlier called Uson’s participation in the campaign for federalism a “brilliant decision”, also noted that the government official’s discussion of the idea was wrong.
“I am not angry but disappointed that the best and the brightest appointed to this government can come up with only that kind of bullshit. Even without the dance and the song, listen to the statement they read. Mali mali pa ang substance!” he lamented.
Uson earned anew the ire of netizens, and this time, Pimentel, due to segment of her “online game show” with blogger Andrew Olivar on federalism.
On their “Good News Game Show,” the two introduced federalism with Olivar chanting, “I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede… ipederalismo!” while gesturing to his chest and crotch.
Uson, in her defense, clarified that the video was shot before she was tapped by the Con-Com and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to help in the government’s information drive on federalism.
“Ito po ay paglilinaw patungkol sa viral video kung saan sinasayaw ni Drew Olivar, isang blogger, ang kanyang dance choreography patungkol sa pederalismo. Nangyari po ito sa aming online game show na matagal na po naming ginagawa ni Drew sa aking blog. Bago pa man ako kausapin ng representante ng Con-Com at ng Communications group ng DILG patungkol sa federalism ay nai-shoot na namin itong video na ito at matagal na namin ginagawa ang online game show na ito,” Uson explained in a video posted Sunday.
She added that no government money was spent for the video.
In a separate post, Uson said they only aimed to entice their viewers in the discussion of federalism, citing it is one of President Duterte’s promises.
Pimentel is president of the ruling PDP-Laban, which has been pushing for the government’s shift to a federal system since 1983.
The Con-Com earlier asked Uson to help in raising the public’s awareness on federalism, through her social media accounts. The committee said Uson will be briefed on the contents of the draft federal constitution to improve her understanding of the proposal.