Mocha asked to ‘draw the line’ on blogging

MANILA -- Several resource persons on Tuesday agreed that Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson should learn to draw the line on maintaining a personal blog, noting that it was difficult to separate her views as a public official and as a private citizen.??

This was raised during the second Senate hearing on fake news noting that Uson should decide whether to keep her government position and stop maintaining her blog or resign to be able to express her personal thoughts.??

Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the committee on Public Information and Mass Media said that it was difficult to separate Uson's opinion from that of PCOO.??

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said that it was unfair to think that Uson's blog represented PCOO as there were other various platforms under the agency that should represent the government.

??Andanar also said that he had called out Uson several times and she had since taken down some of her misleading posts.

Moreover, he said that Uson was not exempted from libel laws.??

Poe, however, insisted that Uson's blog still overlapped with her official functions as PCOO assistant secretary.??

Let it go??

BusinessWorld Editor-in-Chief Roby Alampay said that the easiest way for Uson to draw the line was to let go of all platforms.??

There will remain conflict for as long as she has a private platform. The easiest way is to draw a line and say if you are going to enter government is to let go of all your platforms. If you don't like it, you don't have to join government, Alampay said.??

Anything you say will be attributed not just to you and your office but the government, he added.??

Blogger Tonyo Cruz also stressed that Uson should not use public office, time, and funds to publicize her blog.??

On the other hand, De La Salle University Communications professor Cheryll Soriano said that the PCOO could form its own social media management policy.

??The PCOO can come up with its own social media management policy and have officials follow that policy, Soriano said noting that mutual respect was also important to consider.??

No control of Duterte-aligned blogs??

Andanar, meanwhile, told the committee that the PCOO had no control over the blogs and trolls aligned with President Rodrigo Duterte.??

Hindi ko po kilala yung mga may-ari ng Duterte pages (I don't known the people who run the Duterte pages), Andanar said, clarifying that while he indeed knew some of them, it was not within their control to tell them what to post.??

Poe, for her part, asked Andanar to be able to properly deal with die-hard Duterte bloggers, by providing balance.

Source: Philippine News Agency