Andanar dares senators to shut down also their social media accounts if Mocha Uson's Facebook blog closes
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar challenged on Wednesday all government officials, including senators, to close their social media accounts if Mocha Uson's Facebook blog would be shut down.
Andanar was reacting to those critical of PCOO Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson's blog for allegedly spreading fake news.
"There were arguments 'Is it time to close Mocha's blog?' Okay, granting that Mocha's blog be shut down, there are 1.5 million public servants in the country and I bet most of them, they have their own Facebook pages and Twitter also, then close all of them also. If we're going to close (the account) of one public servant, we should rather shut down all the Facebook (accounts) of all the public servants," he said in an interview over a state-run radio station.
"All for one, one for all...including (the accounts) of the senators, also congressmen, and even that of the President, let's shut them down," Andanar added.
In an inquiry on fake news conducted by the Senate committee on public information and mass media on Tuesday, its chair, Senator Grace Poe, wondered this could be the time to shut down Uson's blog since she is a government official and no longer a private individual.
Uson, who has five million followers, is a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte even when he was still campaigning for the presidency.
In another radio interview, Andanar also criticized what took place during the Senate hearing, saying that it became a "Mocha hearing" and not about fake news.
"We presented our case. There were accusations that PCOO was a source of fake news. We presented the legitimate facts that PNA (Philippine News Agency), PIA (Philippine Information Agency), PTV (Philippine Television), Radyo Pilipinas, Presidential Communications...what we are doing there, how we are improving the government media," he said.
PNA, PIA, PTV, Radyo Pilipinas are among the attached agencies of PCOO.
"However, it turned out it was not about fake news hearing - it's Mocha hearing," Andanar said.
He noted that "about two-thirds of the inquiry was about Mocha."
Andanar said all the more than a thousand employees of PCOO have been working hard to improve the services of their attached news agencies.
He lamented that because Uson's critics were saying that she has been disseminating fake news, they were also claiming that PCOO was purveyor of fake news, "which is very unfair for the entire organization."
"I'm here for the PCOO, I'm not here for a single person. I'm here for more than a thousand employees of PCOO. But you know, the investigation centered to Mocha, which is to us is very unfair," he said.
He added Usosn's blog was not an official page of the PCOO.
"The Mocha Uson Blog is not a news organization. It is not covered by the General Appropriations Act, it does not have a budget, etc," he said.
"So if they judge the PCOO, they should not judge it based on what comes our of that blog," Andanar stressed. Celerina Monte/DMS