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Uson, blogger Olivar charged before Ombudsman over sign-language video

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FILE PHOTO of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson during a Senate hearing on Oct. 4, 2017. -- SENATE PRIB/JOSEPH VIDAL

By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

MALACAÑANG said it will implement any decision by the Office of the Ombudsman on the complaints filed against Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux J. Uson.

“The Ombudsman can already order the dismissal of anyone in government, because it is both an administrative and a criminal case,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing, Thursday.

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PDF) on Thursday filed before the Office of the Ombudsman a complaint against Ms. Uson and blogger Andrew Olivar over another controversial video.

Igagalang po ng Palasyo ang proseso — kung sinabi ng Ombudsman, sibakin, hindi po natin tututulan iyan,” Mr. Roque also said. (The Palace will respect the process — if the Ombudsman orders for her dismissal, we will not object to that.)

He added, however, that the Palace is not considering Ms. Uson’s dismissal. “Sa ngayon po hindi (As of now, no),” Mr. Roque said when asked about this.

The complaint stemmed from the “Pepederalismo for Deaf People” video posted on her Facebook page “Mocha Uson Blog” on Sept. 14, with Mr. Olivar shown interpreting the sign languagem.

The complaint was filed by PDF President Carolyn B. Dagani with Hazel D. Bual, Lauro de Leon Purcil, Jr. and Liza B. Martinez. The PDF on Tuesday had also filed a similar complaint before the Commission on Human Rights.

The video, according to the PDF, violated Republic Act 9442 or the Magna Carta of Persons with Disabilities, which prohibits verbal and non-verbal ridicule and vilification against Persons with Disability.