Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson 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.
Uson had captioned the photo: "Let's pray for our army. Panalangin din po natin ang mga pamilyang naiwan at nababahala sa kalagayan ng kanilang asawa at tatay."
These were PNA, Uson posts in question pic.twitter.com/pSw7RFNLAZ— Trisha Macas (@trishamacas) May 30, 2017
The said Facebook post immediately drew criticism from netizens.
However, Uson, in another Facebook post, insisted on Tuesday that the photo was just a "symbolism," as she called out a news website to use "common sense."
"...Minsan gumamit din ng common sense 'wag masyadong mag magaling. I did not say na Philippine Army yan. I did not say that picture was taken from Marawi. It's a symbol of Army praying," Uson wrote on her Facebook post.
"Ang caption ko lang ay ipanalangin natin ang ating mga sundalo. Hindi ko sinabi sundalo natin yan...Common sense lang na hindi sa atin yan kasi may flag sila sa vest nila. Ba't ko ipopost na sa Pilipinas yan e may flag nga ng ibang bansa. Common sense na it is a symbolism," Uson further wrote.
Meanwhile, the staff of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Tuesday that he would not answer any questions regarding the matter.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA) also drew flak from netizens after it posted an article on Sunday titled "Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi," with a photo from a scene during the Vietnam War.
PNA, for its part, expressed regret over the incorrect information posted on its website, which was then taken down.
"While there have been lapses in our judgment, it has never been the policy of PNA to tolerate erroneous report, and it has certainly never been our intention to sow misinformation, much less share what is termed nowadays as ‘fake news,’” the statement read.
“We regret that these mistakes have cast doubt on our integrity as a news agency. Rest assured we have dealt with our erring personnel and that we are reviewing our procedures on reportage as we continue to uphold our commitment to deliver accurate and balanced news reports to the Filipino people and the world,” PNA added. —Marlly Rome Bondoc/KG, GMA News