Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Thursday that his office was looking into reports that his Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been performing in casinos despite a government ban.
“PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) is looking into the matter,” Andanar told reporters in a text message.
Andanar issued the statement after videos circulated on social media allegedly showing Uson performing with her girl group, Mocha Girls, at Bar 360 at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
Government officials and employees are banned from casinos by virtue of Presidential Decree 1067-B (series of 1977), as amended by PD 1869 (series of 1983).
The prohibition is contained in Memorandum Circular 06 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea Sept. 20, 2016.
The circular said it was “enjoining all government officials and employees to strictly observe and comply with the prohibition against going to gambling casinos.”
In a chance interview, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the memorandum circular must be followed and there should be an investigation to confirm if Uson was guilty of any violation.
“From the Palace point of view, (the) policy needs to be complied with. But in this matter, it needs to be properly vetted,” Abella told reporters.
“That matter has to be settled. First there has to be a proper investigation in order to be able to settle this issue,” he added.
Asked about the penalties should Uson be found guilty, Abella said, “That will have to be a matter to be settled by the PCOO.”
Uson, meanwhile, has yet to address the issue. CATHERINE S. VALENTE