VP Robredo slams Mocha Uson for spreading fake news about Taal donations

Vice President Leni Robredo and Mocha Uson. <i>Photo: Robredo/FB; Uson/FB</i>
Vice President Leni Robredo and Mocha Uson. Photo: Robredo/FB; Uson/FB

Mocha Uson is at it again.

The Duterte cheerleader and former singer is back in hot water after Vice President Leni Robredo lashed out at her today for allegedly spreading (what else?) fake news on her Facebook account.

What riled Robredo was an article shared by Uson last night from a pro-government blog called Mindanation, where a certain netizen named Artanacia Oallop, who purported to be a victim of the Taal Volcano eruption, claimed that she received just five pieces of bread and a bottle of water from Robredo when the vice president met her at an evacuation site.

Read: Netizens cheer Batangas seamstress for making free DIY face masks for neighbors affected by Taal explosion


Never one to keep her opinions to herself (or, y’know, fact-check s**t she reads on the internet), Uson shared the story with the caption: “It’s not surprising that people are mad over this rotten style. This is not the first time that Leni would prioritize a photo-op over helping victims of a tragedy.”

Many of Uson’s followers, unsurprisingly, excoriated Robredo for what she allegedly did, prompting the VP’s team to push back in a statement that pointed out that “Oallop’s” account didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

“VP Leni did not give bread to our countrymen who were affected by Taal Volcano’s [eruption] but she gave food packs instead,” the statement reads. “These food packs contained rice, instant noodles, and canned goods. Aside from these, she also gave away dust masks and drinking water.”

Read: Batangas driver lauded for cleaning passing cars dirtied by Taal eruption

(And the Facebook account of that Oallop character? Gone.)

Speaking to reporters later, Robredo expressed her displeasure at Uson’s post, and wondered aloud why government money was being used to pay the former entertainer’s salary. Uson, aside from being a PRRD fanatic, is also a high-ranking official in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), which is tasked with helping Filipino migrant workers in distress.

“That was an insult to the many people who donated to us,” Robredo said. “It’s so petty to fight over what’s inside those packs, but my main point is, why do we allow someone whose salary is being paid for by the government to spread fake news?”

Uson has a long history of writing and disseminating fake news. In 2016, she shared a photo of a purported 9-year-old Filipino rape victim, and lashed out at Duterte’s critics for refusing to support his anti-crime policies. Turns out the girl in question was Brazilian, and the photo had nothing to do with the Philippines (oops!).

Then, in 2017, when Uson was working as an assistant secretary for the government’s communications team, she shared an article about a policeman who had recently died in the line of duty, castigating Robredo for failing to visit the cop’s wake. Apparently, however, the officer died a full year before Uson’s post (double oops!).

Uson ultimately resigned from the communications team, but was re-hired in October to work at the OWWA, leading to widespread outrage.

 

So, should the government punish Uson for her latest blunder? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.


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