WAR IN THE PALACE

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Whatever is brewing in the Palace is making onlookers uncomfortable, specifically the media.

Malacañang Press Corps is not taking sitting down perorations or any attempt to curtail press freedom or restrict them in the performance of their duty to inform the public. This was in response to Mocha Uson in her effort to expel Rappler from MPC and take it under her Social Media turf.

Another hot issue is the bid of Spokesperson Harry Roque to explain to Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson “the value of critical journalism”. 

Roque expressed this before the MPC but not in the presence of Uson although he said he wanted to directly talk it out with her “and her followers.

Uson, with her Mocha Uson Blog, claiming a following of several millions, has brought to the forefront fellow vloggers. The recognition tipped their higher hats, making them too proud for the comfort of others in the Palace skirts. Clearly, there is resentment with her presence and inexcusable demeanor.

 

Cold Or Hot War?

On one hand, reading his body language, Roque’s the encouraging objective was “to bridge the divide” between the President’s supporters, including Uson’s group, and the legitimate media. 

This is getting hot and a war – cold and hot – is in the offing?

Clearly, Roque recognizes the fact that Uson, who has the eyes and ears of the President, is a potent influencer in Malacañang, in spite of her speckled background as a sex guru (sic) and entertainer.

Roque wanted to remind Uson that media had a great role, not only the social media, that is responsible for having Duterte elected. Other issues, like media exposés on Duterte’s election antagonists, were to be credited.  Examples of these are the PDAF and Janet Napoles’ bogus foundations.

Uson must be burning in her butt with Roque’s statement as a colleague, assuming she did not take this lightly.

MOCHA’S MEMO. Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson sent this controversial memo to her boss Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, sparking uproar from both mainstream and social media. The controversy piqued Prof. Danilo Arao’s interest who later edited and schooled Mocha on how to properly write the same.

Mocha’s Memo

Uson had this tiff with the MPC when she asked her boss, Secretary Martin Andanar, through a memo to separate Rappler from this media group and be accredited under her.  She claimed that Rappler “should fall under the rules on accreditation by my office."

"In view of the foregoing, I respectfully request that Rappler be reclassified and moved from Malacañang Press Corp (sic) to Social Media.”


In the first place, since when was there an “accreditation” if we were to understand what Uson meant?

According to Bobby Capco, now with Agriculture Secretary Piñol and a former MPC member, in his Facebook post explained: 

“The MPC is a private organization of media people covering Malacañang. The MPC itself, however, is not the one accredited by the Palace press office for the news coverage of the President. It is just an organization, a club if you must, of the journalists who cover the President of the Philippines. Accreditation is given to individual journalists, not to the MPC.

“Accreditation by the Malacañang press office means you are allowed to cover the President's activities, and attend his press conferences and briefings … [P]residential trips to the provinces, we also covered the provincial trips … to join the President's party itself to provide pool news report for the entire press corps.”

At the same, Capco also defended Uson“and the millions of DDS followers think otherwise, and are comforted by the thought of their numbers.” He added the thought that “this controversy will ease within the foreseeable future”.

But Roque clarified that he is not at loggerheads with the media and offered to mentor Uson. He expressed confidence that Uson will listen to him. "I will forever consider individuals as under my tutelage on important matters so I hope Asec Mocha will accept being a student of the spokesperson."

So, there is really no war if only Palace executives will not throw hollow blocks at the media. “Give them pandesal instead."