By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Following the controversial “Pepederalismo” video by President Communications Operation Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Sen. Grace Poe has filed a resolution calling for an inquiry into the government’s P90-million information drive on the proposed shift to federalism.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, filed Senate Resolution 821 seeking a “transparency guide” from President Duterte’s Consultative Committee and the PCOO on their information campaign about federalism.
In filing the measure, Poe noted Uson’s participation in the government’s information dissemination drive, and her recent video with a blogger who danced a lewd jingle on federalism.
Uson’s video, Poe said, “reeks of impropriety to the Con-com nor it helps elevate public discourse” on the government’s push for Charter change and transition toward a federal system.
“The video which showcased toilet humor on a rather serious issue does not help explain federalism to people, especially at a time when only 37 percent of Filipinos support the shift to a federal form of government and only one out of four Filipino adults are aware of what federalism is, while another survey indicated that 62 percent of Filipinos reject a change to federalism for now,” her resolution, filed Monday, read.
Citing Article 11, Section 1 of the Constitution, Poe stressed that “public office is a public trust, and officials must at all times exercise professionalism in the performance of their functions.”
With the resolution, Poe said she aims to ensure the “accountability and transparency and implementing full disclosure of all transactions involving public interest.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Poe said she seeks to know how the government came about its proposed P90-million fund for the federalism information campaign and how this will be utilized.
“Nando’n naman ako na para magkaroon ng impormasyon ang ating mga kababayan pero gusto kong malaman kung bakit gano’n kalaki at sino ang mamumuno at papaano nila gagawin bago natin ito aprubahan (I’m for informing our countrymen about federalism, but I want to know how they came up with such a huge amount, who will be in charge, and how they will conduct the campaign, before we approve it),” she said.
Uson, earlier, defended the lewd video from her “online game show” with blogger Drew Olivar, saying that no government funds were used for it. She added the video was made before the Con-Com tapped her to help in the campaign for federalism through social media.
In a later interview by CNN Philippines, Uson, however, admitted that the clip was shot during office hours in her office in Malacañang.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar had clarified that only P10 million, and not P90 million, is allotted to the agency for the information campaign about federalism. Lamenting that the amount is not enough, Andanar said he will ask for an additional budget for the campaign.