By ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is still investigating its assistant secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson’s alleged violation of a memorandum order issued by President Duterte last year.
The Palace move came following reports that Uson, a former sexy performer, is still performing inside a casino in Pasay City despite Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 6 which prohibits government officials from entering such establishment.
PCOO assistant secretary Kris Ablan, during the Palace press briefing Thursday morning, said the matter was already referred to the PCOO’s legal office.
“The alleged violation is already submitted for investigation with PCOO’s legal office since Asec Mocha is an assistant secretary of the PCOO,” Ablan said.
“There are admin procedures and it’s still ongoing,” he added.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar earlier explained that Uson actually asked for permission to continue performing but said they will continue looking into the matter.
“Mocha asked permission to honor her entertainment contracts when she joined government. Anyhow, we are still looking into the matter of Mocha performing inside RW,” Andanar said.
However, he said he would discourage her personally from performing in casinos.
“Mocha can still perform if she wishes pero I would discourage her from performing in places like casinos,” Andanar had said.
The Palace official also said that they would “look into the matter” in line with President Duterte’s Memorandum Circular No. 6 which prohibits government officials from entering gambling places.
Duterte issued Memorandum Circular No. 6 last September, 2016. It states that all government officials are prohibited from going to casinos.
“All government officials and employees shall strictly observe and comply with all pertinent laws, issuances, and policies prohibiting government personnel to enter, stay, or play in gambling casinos,” Duterte’s circular read.
“In view of its negative effect on the public perception of government service as a whole, the mere entry or presence of government officials and employees in a gambling casino shall be considered as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, unless the same was in the performance of official duties and functions,” it added.
Meanwhile, Andanar said that Uson’s possible preventive suspension while undergoing investigation is for the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) to decide.
Duterte first appointed Uson as board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) before she was named PCOO’s social media office head.
Only this week, Uson was criticized for not removing footwear and not wearing a hijab when she entered the Grand Mosque in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur during Duterte’s visit there on Monday.