• Palace probes reports Mocha Uson performing in casinos

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    Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar on Thursday confirmed that his office was looking into reports that his department’s Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson continues to perform in casinos despite government employees being banned from gambling halls.

    “The PCOO is looking into the matter,” Andanar told reporters in a text message.

    He 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 Presidential Decree 1067-B Sseries of 1977), as amended by PD 1869 (Series of 1983).

    The prohibition was contained in Memoramdum Circular 06 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on September 20, 2016.

    The circular enjoined “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 complied with and there should be an investigation to confirm if Uson is 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 said.

    When asked about the penalties for Uson for appearing in casinos, Abella replied, “That will have to be a matter to be settled by the PCOO.”

    Uson, meanwhile, is yet to address the issue.

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