MALACANANG is discouraging Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson from performing in casinos as appearances in gambling halls are prohibited under the law.
“The law is clear and (Presidential) Secretary (Martin) Andanar has discussed with Asec. Uson why we must discourage her form performing in casinos. The way we understand, she may have to fulfill a certain contract. However she is certainly free to continue to perform in other venues not restricted for government officials and personnel,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters in a press conference on Friday.
Abella reminded Uson that government employees were banned in casinos which, he said, would “tend to convey extravagance and questionable ethical practices in the public mind.”
“Rightly or wrongly, casinos tend to convey extravagance and questionable ethical practices in the public mind. Hence, those in government must avoid being seen in such places,” he added.
Abella made 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 Presidential Decree 1067-B Sseries of 1977), as amended by PD 1869 (Series of 1983).
The prohibition is contained in Memoramdum Circular 06 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Sept. 20, 2016.
The circular enjoined “all government officials and employees to strictly observe and comply with the prohibition against going to gambling casinos.”
Meanwhile, Andanar said the possibility of preventive suspension against Uson would be up to the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). CATHERINE VALENTE