MOCHA Uson is back in the Duterte cabinet.
Let that simmer for a minute.
The poster girl for Duterte propaganda tried to get into the House of Representatives via the party list system. Unfortunately, only about 2% of her 5 million Facebook followers cared to vote for AA Kasosyo Party-list, Uson’s vehicle of choice into the House, and so her trip to Batasan didn’t materialize.
But this Duterte regime apparently isn’t above using its power and authority to accommodate the ever-loyal Uson.
There are, of course, several legal issues with Uson’s appointment. When is an executive act of Duterte ever without legal issues? (Trick question; the answer is “whenever he just cuts ribbons for completed Aquino-era projects.”)
First is the Constitutional one-year ban on appointing losing candidates into government offices. There is a Comelec resolution, Resolution 9366, that exempts party-list nominees such as Uson from such ban, and it is on this basis that the validity of Uson’s appointment rests. However, the law that Resolution 9366 seeks to implement contains no such provision. Furthermore, with respect to requirements and regulations, the Comelec treats party-list nominees no differently from candidates. Finally, even the Supreme Court has stated that “the vote cast in a party-list election is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end, would be a vote for its nominees.” (Bantay Republic Act or BA-RA 7941 v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 177271, May 4, 2007, 523 SCRA 1, 16-17).
It’s like a parent telling their child, “You can’t have sugary drinks, but go ahead and have a Coke Zero.” Yes, it is technically not a “sugary” drink, but it’s just as terrible as regular soda and in fact tastes strictly worse, so why would you scar your child for life that way?
Moving to the second issue, this next problem may actually be worse than the first: under the law, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has only two positions for deputy administrator. Uson’s appointment makes her the third one. Duterte literally pulled a position out of thin air (or some other hidden orifice) so Uson could be appointed.
It makes me wonder, where are they getting the budget to support her P1.86M annual salary?
Your guess is as good as mine.
The timing of Uson’s appointment is itself quite suspicious. Mere days after Uson’s appointment, it was found that Uson will be joining Duterte in his Russian trip. I don’t get it. What on earth would he do in Russia, and why does he need Uson there? Other than to flip shows on Netflix. (Yes, Russia does have Netflix. Yay for Duterte!)
Don’t get me wrong, I know exactly why Uson is going – she is their cheerleader, their rah-rah girl, the woman who gets the OFW crowd hot and standing for Duterte. Especially the lonely male OFW crowd, though they may get hot and standing for entirely different reasons. But most importantly, Uson gets to pretend that she really cares for OFWs, even after OFWs clearly didn’t believe her enough to vote her into the House. It’s a win-win – if you consider only that Duterte “wins” and Uson “wins” in these tailor-made arrangements.
Greta Thurnburg has called on us to do our part to stop and reverse climate change. While reusing and recycling garbage is certainly an option, I am unsure if she would approve in this instance.