MANILA, Philippines – Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea himself was irritated by the controversy over the federalism jingle and dance shown in a video posted by Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.
This was revealed by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday, August 6, during a press briefing.
"Medyo na-bad trip si ES (Executive Secretary) nung kinausap ko siya kasi wala namang official announcement," said Andanar.
(ES was annoyed when I spoke with him because there was no official announcement.)
Andanar explained that Uson was never designated by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to be the federalism spokesperson.
Medialdea was concerned because he is the Cabinet member on top of the Consultative Committee (Con-Com), a group formed by President Rodrigo Duterte to propose revisions to the 1987 Constitution.
The 22-member group is composed of former Supreme Court justices, former lawmakers, political science experts, professors, soldiers, and an economist. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Con-Com's Ding Generoso on Mocha Uson, federalism info drive)
Medialdea wanted more informed "talking heads" to promote federalism, not Uson, necessarily.
"He said that we need spokespersons, we need talking heads who are really experts on the subject of federalism – members of the Con-Com, former chief justice Reynato Puno, former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel [Jr], and so much more," said Andanar.
He then distanced himself from the video, which Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, a federalism advocate, called lewd. (READ: Senators raise hell over Mocha's 'vulgar, desperate' federalism video)
"This is not what the PCOO, what the entire inter-agency [body] talked about.... Once I get the expanation from her, we can talk again," said Andanar.
Committee chairman Reynato Puno himself supposedly told members he never authorized Uson's participation in the information drive. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.