Despite her disclaimer, Mocha Uson Blog must follow Code of Ethics like any other gov’t official


Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson is trying to draw a line between her personal views posted on her popular Facebook page “Mocha Uson Blog” and that of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) using a disclaimer. She was appointed to her Asec post on May 8 and changed her cover photo and started putting this disclaimer on May 11:

“This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own views and not of the PCOO.”

Mocha Uson Blog

Mocha Uson Blog

Mocha Uson Blog

However, Rappler’s May 12 article seemed to remind Uson that despite putting a disclaimer on some of her posts on Mocha Uson Blog, it does not exempt her page and its contents from the rules in the Code of Ethics. Why is that so? Rappler wrote that as a government official, her public posts have an effect on public interest.

Just like any other public official, Uson ought to follow the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” or the Republic Act No. 6713.

A lawyer from the Office of the Ombudsman even told Rappler, “She can no longer misbehave in the blog, she can’t curse. She could be administratively liable for any misbehavior for conduct prejudicial to the interest of public service.”

Even when she does something completely irrelevant to her government post, if it damages the reputation of her department, she can be held administratively liable for that act, according to the jurisprudence on Civil Service Commission (CSC) laws.

The acts of respondent constitute the administrative offense of Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, which need not be related to, or connected with, the public officer’s official functions. As long as the questioned conduct tarnishes the image and integrity of his public office, the corresponding penalty may be meted on the erring public officer or employee,” the CSC laws said.

From now on, her public Facebook posts on her page with over 5 million followers, will be taken as the posts of a PCOO Asec receiving salary from the taxpayers.

For her position, Uson, like the other assistant secretaries, will be earning at least P106,454 (Salary Grade 29) per month.

Uson was suspended from her DZRH radio show for using foul, derogatory language when she called Vice President Leni Robredo “bobo” and cursed her and her staff with “putang ina” (son of a bitch).

As a public official, Uson is expected to observe professionalism, justness and sincerity, and political neutrality. They are also expected to give the public “courteous” service.

Penalty for erring public officials may include a fine equivalent to six months of their salary or a suspension for up to a year. Grave offenses may be penalized with a removal from office.

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