By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Miriam College on Friday joined its counterparts in “strongly condemning” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson and blogger Drew Olivar for mocking the sign language in a viral video.
Issuing a statement, Miriam College said that it is “appalled by the utter disrespect” that Uson and Olivar “have shown to a sector that has fought hard for their advancement, equality, and respect.” Since 1974, the institution has been a home to the deaf community through its various programs for pre-school to graduate students who are deaf.
Along with other educational institutions, advocates, organizations for the deaf, and individuals, Miriam College also seeks to make both Uson and Olivar “accountable for their offensive, callous, and flagrant attitude and action towards the deaf community.”
The College also joined calls to take action against the two by upholding the law – specifically Republic Act 9442 – that seeks to penalize an individual, group, or community for acts of “making fun or contemptuous imitating or making mockery of persons with disability whether in writing, or in words, or in action due to their impairment/s.”
“Persons in government service and of influence should and must at all times have the highest responsibility to push for the development and inclusion of persons with disabilities in whatever capacities they hold,” the College said.
Miriam College also stood firm in support of the deaf community which, it said, “has braved the everyday noise.”
Earlier this week, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde also condemned Uson and Olivar for “mocking of the deaf community” as well as of the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) and called on the government to “take action” and “impose appropriate penalties” against persons who disrespect and violate the laws protecting Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
DLS-CSB President Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC issued a statement following the controversial video uploaded on the Mocha Uson Blog Facebook dated Sept. 14, 2018. “We, in the Benildean Community find their actions offensive and disrespectful to the Filipino Deaf Community,” he said.
The DLS-CSB is an inclusive educational institution that houses the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and the Benilde Deaf School. “We support the Deaf Community and Persons with Disability in the pursuit of full enjoyment and realization of their rights without any discrimination,” Magbanua said.
The institution also urged the government to “take action” against the two; “impose the appropriate penalties as provided by law”; and consider the removal of Uson whose acts are “deemed unbecoming of a government official” who – as per Republic Act 6713 – is “expected to have a high standard of ethics in public service.”