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MOCHA ON FAKE NEWS

Why single out bloggers like me? Call out Trillanes, VP Leni instead


Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson on Friday defended herself against "fake news" controversies surrounding her, saying that the public should instead call out Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Vice President Leni Robredo for "spreading fake news."

"Bakit yung blogger na tulad ko, pinalalaki yung maliit na pagkakamaling ganon pero hindi kino-call out yung mas malalaking fake news na pinapakalat ng katulad nina Senator Trillanes at  VP Leni," Uson said in an interview on GMA News' "Unang Balita."

Uson pointed out Trillanes' recent interview with BBC HARDtalk's presenter Stephen Sackur as to why the senator is a "purveyor of fake news."

"...Napanood niyo ba yung interview niya? Hindi ba sa international media pa, sinasabing hindi malaking problema ang shabu?" she said.

Uson, who has been embroiled in controversy over supposed fake news, admitted that she had committed mistakes, particularly her social media post saying that a corporation owed the government some P96 billion in taxes based on "Article 263" of the Philippine Constitution.

"Honestly ito, ano ba ang fake news? Ang layunin ng fake news ay manlinlang ng tao, at hindi ko po ginawa yan. Kung meron man akong pagkakamali sige yung article...yung Section 263 na tax code na nag-erratum na po ako doon. Dahil gumawa naman po ako ng video blog na dini-discuss yung ikakaso doon sa Mighty Corp., nag-erratum na ako doon," Uson said.

"Yung mga pagkakamali ko, pray for our soldiers, ang nakakalungkot yung mga pagkakamali ng mga VP Leni na nagpakalat ng fake news diyan sa UN Narcotics body, sinasabi na 7,000 ang drug related killings. Mali pa yung impormasyon patungkol sa mga palit-ulo," she added.

Asked what she thinks about her critics, Uson said: "You cannot please everyone."

"Ang akin lang po namamatay na po yung mga sundalo natin doon. Nakausap ko po sila, and they really need the support of our kababayan, kasi nga may mga sariling pamilya 'yan. Habang tayo nag-aaway ng politika dito, sila nakikipagbakbakan. At yung mga kalaban natin doon ay hindi lang mga lokal na terorista, international na po."

Last May, Uson also defended her Facebook post in which she shared a photo of Honduras policemen while calling for prayers for the Philippine military battling the Maute group in Marawi City.

She said she only wanted the public to join in praying for the government forces in Marawi City.

"Alam po ninyo, nagulat ako kasi hindi ko po alam na magiging malaking issue ito. Dahil na-share ko yung isang Facebook page na ang caption ay let's ano...may sinabi doon na parang verse from the Bible na let's pray for the soldiers ganyan. Na-touch yung puso ko doon na ang layunin ko ay hikayatin yung mga kababayan natin to pray for our soldiers, pero hindi ko sinabi na mga sundalo natin iyan sa Marawi," Uson said.

Also, Uson clarified that she neither supports nor opposes Senator Joel Villanueva's Senate Bill No. 1492 or the proposed Anti-Fake News Act.

"Sa totoo lang, hindi ako pro or anti kasi bago ito [the bill]. Kaya kailangan pag-aralan pa. Pero para sa akin, i-go ito para mapuksa yung mga nagpapakalat ng mga fake news," She said.

Posts double-checked

Meanwhile, Uson insisted that she double-checks her facts in her posts and "get the news right on the spot."

"Unang una po mayroon po akong numero ng halos lahat ng Cabinet members natin. Number one na po diyan si DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Secretary [Silvestre] Bello, at kung may mga announcement patungkol sa mga OFWs natin, katulad nung nangyari sa Doha, nakakausap ko ng personal. Dino-double check ko po."  

Uson also recalled joining President Rodrigo Duterte's appearance during the 50th founding anniversary of the Agusan de Norte province held at University of Cabadbaran.

She called on the public to disregard differences on political views as government forces are still battling the ISIS-linked terror group Maute in Marawi.

"Kalimutan na po natin si Pangulong Duterte, kalimutan na natin ang pulitika. For now malaki ang kalaban natin, terorismo po at namamatay ang ating mga sundalo. In fact, meron po tayong ino-organisa na simpleng concert to show support for our troops." —Marlly Rome Bondoc/LBG/KVD, GMA News

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