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‘Mocha isn’t off the hook just yet’
Mocha Uson
READ: Three tales of ‘endo’ in government service: Bowed out

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Uson’s resignation had nothing to do with the ongoing probe of the complaints filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Akbayan Youth and the Philippine Federation of the Death.
On Sept. 28—the day Uson resigned—Martires said the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office sent a letter ordering her and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar to file their own comment within 10 days on the complaint filed by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf.
The letter, signed by Asst. Ombudsman Joselito Fangon told Uson to submit within 10 days a written explanation or comment on a complaint filed by four complainants over a video she posted on her Facebook page that mocked people with disabilities.
Uson also faces complaints about an earlier video in which her sidekick, blogger Drew Olivar, danced while pointing to his crotch and breasts as mnemonic devices for federalism.
Although Uson may no longer be suspended or dismissed, she could be disqualified from public office, effectively stopping her from running in the next elections.
Uson on Thursday shot back at Vice President Leni Robredo, whose spokesman had said her resignation would not spare her from liability for her lies and scandals.
Talking to UNTV, Uson said it was the vice president who was full of lies, and that even her position was a big lie—a reference to the election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr

Assistant Secretary for Communications Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been the fair-haired girl of the Duterte administration—much to its detriment.


The former sexy dancer turned blogger had actively campaigned for Mr. Duterte in 2016 and was rewarded with a high-paying job at the Presidential Communications Operation Office.

Since her appointment, Uson has committed a series of gaffes, and in all of these blunders, she had defended herself haughtily, arrogantly. Ironically she and her legion of defenders dismiss her critics as Mocha Uson purveyors of fake news or out to bring down their revered “Tatay Digong.”
It has escaped us for long why the Palace has continued to stand behind Uson despite her misadventures. Our best guess was that her millions of followers gave her enough clout to do as she pleased in the name of spreading the word. Proof of her good standing at the Palace is the decision to tap her services in the information campaign for the proposed federal form of government.
This weekend, however, Uson crossed the line.
In a video posted on her Facebook blog Sunday, Uson, along with companion Andrew Olivar, attempted a federalism tutorial complete with an obscene song-and-dance number, a simplistic analogy and a script of dubitable accuracy read aloud like a high school class report.
If Uson succeeded in anything, it is in insulting the hard work of the consultative commission that proposed a draft constitution that, if approved, would govern the transition to the federal form.
It is in denigrating the sober matter of governance and trivializing hopes that a new structure of government would improve the lives of millions of Filipinos.
Uson successfully turned people against federalism, not because people were able to weigh its foreseen benefits against the costs, but because it is now associated a lewd Tagalog equivalent and equally lewd dance moves.
She easily made the Duterte administration, which she is supposed to speak for and represent, look stupid, irreverent and laughable.
With any luck, her latest stunt should convince the President that he has risked enough in having her on board—and getting the rest of us to foot her insanely high commanding price.
What would be the most vulgar of all is if Uson gets to keep her cushy job and continue to enjoy her perks despite the near-universal outrage at her acts.

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Latest News Today , The cure for fake news

The cure for fake news
posted June 27, 2017 at 12:01 am by Jojo Robles
When I’m asked what the cure for fake news is, I always say: You already have it between your ears.
I don’t understand why some people are railing about fake news the way they are doing now. Because if they really wanted to do something about the problem, they should know that passing a law penalizing its spread (like a senator has proposed) or identifying alleged purveyors of fakery in the hopes of scaring people to avoid them (like the Catholic bishops have done) is really not going to do it.
But let’s examine these proposals one by one. Let’s start with Senator Joel Villanueva’s call for the passage of a law that will criminalize the act of spreading reports that are not true.
Villanueva last week filed a bill seeking to punish the malicious creation or spreading of fake news. Villanueva’s proposal will penalize violators with jail time of up to three years and a fine of up to P3 million and doubles the penalty if the perpetrator is a public official.
My first problem with Villanueva’s plan is that there are already laws that penalize the malicious spread of fake news, including online. These are the current (though much-criticized) laws on libel and slander, including the cybercrime version that takes care of online violations.
Why come up with a new law just because spreading fake reports is in vogue again? And, pray tell, how is the new law going to succeed in proving what the existing ones have always had a problem with—the presence of malice?
Indeed, Villanueva seems to have copied the concept of malice from existing laws on legally actionable defamation, which makes the person or entity (in the case of media entities) liable for spreading fake news reports or malicious reporting. But this, to me, means that Villanueva is also quite aware that unless reputations are unfairly—and maliciously —ruined, he could be going against the constitutional protection of free speech, expression and publication.
In the words of the 1987 Constitution: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances.” And if malice cannot be established, then any law that abridges that freedom cannot stand.
* * *
As for Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who also holds the position of president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, his situation is, well, a little more problematic. And not only because he and the his fellow bishops declared that spreading fake news is actually a “sin.”
Villegas’ declaration coincided with the release of a CBCP pastoral letter which condemned fake news as sinful. The online-only news website Rappler reported that the CBCP drew up last January a list of web pages and social media microblogs that were included in the new CBCP “Index” and gleefully released a “partial list” of these that were, by no small coincidence, were supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
(Apparently, fake news is only proffered by Duterte supporters, which is certainly a piece of fakery, as well. But that’s something for another column altogether.)
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum, or List of Prohibited Books, was drawn up by the Catholic Church beginning in the 9th Century to identify publications unsuitable for the faithful, according to their clerics. Why the CBCP wants us to go back to not reading stuff on the say-so of priests—a practice finally discontinued in 1966, with the advent of the reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council—is a mystery to me.
But what’s really puzzling is that Villegas has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the list reported by Rappler. Villegas has not even said if the “partial” list is accurate.
The Rappler list has earned the ire of a lot of people who consider it another instance of the Church encroaching on something that is not really its concern, quite naturally. Is Rappler using Villegas and the CBCP to foist yet another read more piece of fake news upon its readers?
The bishops aren’t saying. Which is amazing because they are in a perfect position to cite the Rappler story as fake news or not, as the case may be.
Finally, to get back to my own prescription to combat fake news without resorting to legal measures or Church-dictated lists, it’s this: Use your own coconut.
My favorite analogy about news is that of an old-fashioned wet market. You go to a market to check out what’s for sale, but you buy only what you really need and want.
The size of the store, the declarations of the vendors as to the virtues of their offerings and the price you pay is really something for you to factor in, if you want. Caveat emptor, as they also used to say.
But you will not really get what you want (the truth, in this case) if you don’t check out everything and use your previous experience with the vendors and their products as a guide. You can even produce your own food and do away with going to the market altogether, or become a market vendor yourself.
But what people need is to learn how to discern, which requires education instead of the threat of jail terms, fines and even eternal damnation. And teaching requires brains, as well.

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Precilyn Silvestre-Melo, DDS​ – Certified Board Member (2002)
Dr. Silvestre- Melo’s dental practice in Newark, California is devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles.

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