By Raïssa Robles
I have always had confidence that there are people in government service who will say—enough is enough.
And one of them, the Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency, just did.
This was even after President Rodrigo Duterte was said to have come to her defense, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
Now the PIA performs a very important role in the executive department. It is that agency which hums in the background, churning out news about the President’s actions and what other parts of the Executive Department is doing. Down to the grassroots level.
Many people have probably never heard of Clavite but alleged millions know Mocha. Although this does not seem to translate into potential votes for a possible senatorial post, based on a recent Pulse Asia survey.
However, Mocha is very very close to the President. So when Clavite did this, I am assuming that he had laid his job on the line. And he’s ready to be fired by the boss.
Mocha has also shot back at her critics saying it is they who have dirty minds.
Spokesman Roque indicated that Duterte was “very cool” with what Mocha did because he believes in “freedom of expression” and “it was not really a big thing”.
That was the spin of the Palace.
But this time, Harold Clavite, head of the PIA, went against the spin and told the nation that what Mocha did was not cool and it was a big thing.
On the heels of PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s latest blunder on the Administration’s campaign to push for federalism, a public apology from the PCOO official is paramount. Along this line is a call for her to take a leave of absence to reflect on these matters.
This is not only a seeming insult to our profession in communication and public information but also degrading to the women and mothers in our communities.
I have served alongside PCOO and all its attached agencies under the good leadership of Secretary Martin Andanar, and as far as I’m concerned, Ms. Uson’s actions since her appointment have time and again proven to be in poor taste—a display of an utter lack of judgment and have maligned our profession as government communicators. I speak out on this issue to give value to the massive man-hours my office, the Philippine Information Agency, had spent on providing capability and capacity building trainings, seminars, and workshops to all our stakeholders in public information on the ground; to give value to the hard work of PCOO’s attached agencies.
My stand on this issue defends the integrity and intelligence of all government information officers, volunteers, and partners— many of whom women and mothers— across the nation, who are continuously working very hard to positively influence the Filipino public to make them responsible sharers of information and be able to contribute to the significant change the public information infrastructure of this country so badly requires.
As a public servant and being part of the PCOO family, I take great offense in Ms. Uson’s actions, which continuously damages the rectitude of my communication and public information agenda. I can no longer let her obscure and vilify my honest work in helping the President, this government, and this country, as well as the efforts that we have painstakingly and patiently put into place under my leadership in PIA for the past two years.
We have been sitting idly by for too long, and it is about time that someone speaks up and hold erring officials accountable for repeatedly tarnishing the reputation of our government.
With this, I respectfully urge Ms. Mocha Uson to take a leave of absence to think and reconfigure all her strategies putting into consideration the code of conduct and ethical standards that all public officials should adhere to.
HAROLD E. CLAVITE
Philippine Information Agency
If President Duterte asked for your advice, who should go—Mocha or Harold?
Or should he keep both?
By the way, I do believe that Mocha is the best thing that has happened to turn off voters against voting for federalism.
Just play that jingle video over and over.
“I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede, i-pepe-pepe-pepederalismo!”
For Mocha, the average Filipino voter does not have to understand federalism. He just needs to dance to her tune: “I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede, i-pepe-pepe-pepederalismo!”