Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson of the Presidential Communications Operations Office defended President Rodrigo Duterte's granddaughter Isabelle after netizens lambasted her recent photo shoot inside Malacañang Palace.
In a post on her Facebook page on Saturday, Uson said that Isabelle was being attacked as if she had killed someone.
"Ayaw ko na po sana mag comment patungkol dito. Pero naawa ako sa apo ni PRRD. Na kung ikundena ng ilang tao ay akala mo nakapatay na yung tao," Uson wrote.
She also stressed, three times, that the money spent on the shoot did not come from the country's coffers, and that no law was broken.
Uson reacted to comments saying that the photoshoot was done in "bad taste" by saying that it's a Filipino tradition to spend a good amount of money for one's daughter's 18th birthday celebration.
"Bad taste daw dahil ang imahe ng pamilyang Duterte ay simple at hindi magarbo. Alam niyo po tradition na sa atin yan. Kahit nga yung mga hindi kaluwagan ang buhay pero pag nag debut ang anak mo halos mag pyesta na ang buong baryo niyo," she said.
She also opined that Duterte's family should be given this privilege after what he has done for the country.
"Sa dami dami ng magagandang ginawa ng kanyang Lolo bigyan naman natin ng konting pribilehiyo yung pamilya ng Pangulo," she wrote.
Uson also said it was not as if Isabelle's debut party had taken place inside Malacañang.
"Hindi ko po sinasabing hindi bad taste ang akin lang po, maliit na bagay lang yan. Sana kung diyan na mismo ginawa yung debut e hindi naman," she said.
In their criticism of the photos, netizens have pointed out a specific photo of Isabelle in which she is posing in front of the national coat of arms.
They cited Executive Order No. 310 s.2004, which says, “Except as otherwise provided by law or Presidential issuance, the Coat-of-Arms, Seal, and Flag of the President of the Philippines or of the Vice President of the Philippines shall be exclusively used to represent the President of the Philippines or the Vice President of the Philippines, respectively.”
Isabelle is Paolo Duterte's eldest child with his ex-wife Lovelie Sangkola Sumera. — Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/BM, GMA News