PHILIPPINE Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary and so-called “voice of the people” Margaux “Mocha” Uson has landed herself in hot water on social media, with a post that has prompted netizens to call for her termination and puts #FireMocha as a top trending topic on Twitter.
According to Rappler, the former pop star and model erroneously tweeted on Tuesday a news story published over a year ago. The story was covering the funeral of a police officer who was killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.
Uson captioned the story with “Waiting…Calling Leni, Bam, Trillanes at Hontiveros, Kelan ninyo dadalawin ito?” (When will you visit?).
The tweet references Philippine Vice-President Leni Robredo, Liberal Senator Bam Aquino, Senator Antonio Trillanes and Senator Risa Hontiveros – all of whom have been critical of Duterte’s brutal crackdown – and accuses them of not attending the funerals of fallen officers.
The tweet has since been deleted, but screenshots of the post have been widely distributed online.
— ¡Oy Ruperto! (@rupertnotholmes) August 22, 2017
The outdated and incorrect post has prompted backlash from netizens who are accusing Uson of peddling “fake news” and calling her a “purveyor of lies.”
Hate is a drug, and Mocha Uson is a trafficker of hate. There’s no place for her in civilized political discourse. #FireMocha
— Gideon Lasco (@gideonlasco) August 23, 2017
Uson’s the epitome of everything a public servant should never be: Purveyor of lies, author of fake news, sharer of propaganda. #FireMocha
— Francis Baraan IV (@MrFrankBaraan) August 22, 2017
#FireMocha bec she obviously doesn’t know what she’s doing yet she thinks she is SO credible just bec she has a lot of mindless followers.
— Jai Saldajeno (@jaikovsky_) August 22, 2017
Number 1 fake news peddler. We deserve better. #FireMocha
— Asar Ahai (@airalagunzad) August 22, 2017
She used a 1year old photo just to fake out the entire nation and end up like a fool! Very cheap action but huge waste of funds! #FireMocha
— blacktupaever (@weelookanaba) August 23, 2017
Uson, a staunch supporter of Duterte, started her career as a singer and model, but quickly gained traction as a political blogger. She is seen by many of the Filipino people as an honest voice in an otherwise dishonest media.
Efhraim Santiago, a small business owner based in Manila, described Uson as the “voice of the people” claiming her posts reflect the true feelings of the Filipino people towards their controversial president.
Distrust of the mainstream media is common in the Philippines where many people feel Duterte is not given fair representation, especially regarding his war on drugs, which still remains largely popular among voters.
It is in this climate Uson gained popularity, and Duterte’s attention. She was appointed assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) in May and now relays government messages to the press – who she has widely criticised in the past, assigning them the nickname “presstitutes.”
This is not Uson’s first media gaffe. In May, she posted a photo asking for prayers for the Philippine Army which turned out to be a photo of the Honduran police.
The assistant secretary defended herself then by saying the picture was just for symbolism purposes.