Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson claimed on October 4 that she also fell victim to fake news, with some even published by mainstream media, such as GMA News. She pointed out how GMA News Online reported that she took a selfie inside a mosque in Marawi City with her boots on.
The GMA News report was about ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong criticizing Uson for entering the mosque without taking her boots off and capturing a selfie inside.
Adiong slammed Uson, who was accompanying President Rodrigo Duterte when he visited the Grand Islamic Mosque in Marawi City on September 11.
“That’s where Usec. (sic) Uson was taking selfie with her boots on,” Adiong said.
On top of that, Uson was not wearing a hijab.
“We should avoid actions that may offend our Muslim brothers and sisters,” he added.
He also advised Uson to “hire an etiquette manager, if any.”
Uson called GMA’s attention with a Facebook post on September 13.
“Una sa lahat, ako po’y humihingi ng paumanhin sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim na na-offend sa pagsama ko po sa loob ng mosque. Wala po akong intensyon na i-disrespect ang mosque. Sumama po ako sa loob sapagkat kinukuhanan ko po si PRRD sa kanyang pagbisita sa battlezone ng Marawi (panuorin ang video para sa buong paliwanag),” she wrote.
Uson slammed GMA News during the Senate hearing on fake news on October 4 for not getting her side.
“At sa pa po kadalasan pong nagpapakalat ng fake news ang ilang mainstream media katulad po ng GMA narin. Nung sinamahan ko si pangulomg duterte sinabi ng GMA na ako raw po ay nag-selfie sa grand mosque sa Marawi na naka-boots. Hindi naman po ako nag-selfie doon
To this, GMA News Online responded that they were merely reporting Adiong’s criticism of Uson for taking a supposed selfie.
After the hearing, GMA News released an official statement over Uson’s accusation that the media organization spread fake news about her.
“It was clear in GMA News’ report that we were quoting ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong who criticized PCOO Asec Mocha Uson for entering a mosque in Marawi with her boots on and for taking a selfie inside,” GMA News said in a statement.
“GMA later carried Asec. Uson’s apology for not removing her shoes, her explanation that their entry was unplanned as they were forced to do so when fighting intensified, and her denial that she took a selfie,” the statement added.
“With all due respect to Asec. Uson, there is no fake news here. We in GMA News and Public Affairs hold ourselves to a high standard of accurate and factual reporting and we will continue to do so in the name of Serbisyong Totoo.”