Andanar: Mocha Uson 'enjoys the trust and confidence' of President Duterte

By Media Newser Philippines | Thursday, August 31, 2017

Screenshot: CNN Philippines
Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson "enjoys the trust and confidence" of President Rodrigo Duterte, PCO Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday.

Appearing on CNN Philippines' The Source, Andanar was asked to comment on the growing calls to fire the former sexy starlet over her repeated blunders on social media.

"The fact that she's, most of the time, with him in his activities, malaki ang tiwala ni Presidente sa kanya," Andanar said.

The hashtag #FireMocha trended online last week after Uson called on Vice President Leni Robredo and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes and Bam Aquino to visit the wake of a cop killed during a drug operation. Apparently, the photo she posted was from an Inquirer story published a year ago.

"Right from the very beginning sinabi niya naman sa akin na her Facebook page is her own Facebook page. Mayroon siyang disclaimer doon na whatever she says there doesn't reflect the government's position or the department's ideas," Andanar said.

When pressed repeatedly by host Pinky Webb to comment specifically on Uson's most recent gaffe, the former TV5 newsman said: "Unang-una, may disclaimer siya na kung ano man ang gusto niyang sabihin, sa kanya lang yan, walang kinalaman ang PCOO dito. We agreed to that. Kung meron siyang napo-post na nagiging kontrobersyal then she will have to answer for that. But then again as the head of the agency, I still end up answering [for her]."

According to Andanar, Uson is still in campaign mode. "She protects the President and whether we like it or not, or the opposition like it or not, we have to accept the fact that that's her unique selling proposition — her huge following online," he said.

In a separate interview with Winnie Monsod on her public affairs show Bawal Ang Pasaway, Andanar asserts that Uson is an asset to the agency.

"My rationale for agreeing [with the President] to get Mocha is because 'yun talaga 'yung merkado niya eh — 'yung kanyang social media following, 'yung base na 'yun," he said, adding that her Facebook page's engagement outranks even some of the big-name celebrities and news organizations.

"She's really a loyalist of the President. Unquestionable. Kahit saan kami magpunta, umikot si Presidente sa ASEAN countries, si Mocha ang hinahanap ng mga OFWs," he added.

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