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Mochang sasabit! Poe to probe federalism info drive

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By Xave Gregorio

After a web show starring Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary featured a lewd song-and-dance number on federalism, Senator Grace Poe is seeking a Senate probe on the presidential consultative committee’s (ConCom) P90 million information drive for the proposed shift to a federal form of government.

“Uson’s latest antics reek of impropriety and disrespect to the ConCom nor it helps elevate public discourse,” Poe said in Senate Resolution No. 821, which she filed Monday (August 6).

“It is important that public office is a public trust, and officials must at all times exercise professionalism in the performance of their functions,” added the chair of the Senate public information and mass media committee.

She also said the video, where Uson’s co-host Drew Olivar sang a vulgar jingle on federalism while obscenely gesturing to his chest and crotch area, “does not help explain federalism to the people.”

Uson, selected by the ConCom to be one of its lead campaigners for federalism, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office are in hot water following the release of the video, earning the ire of senators who are questioning the P90 million earmarked for the information drive and the agency’s proposed P100 million budget increase.

Uson has defended her actions, claiming that no government money was spent in the production of the video, despite admitting in a TV interview that she and Olivar filmed it during work hours in her office.

The video has raised questions on whether there is even a need to conduct an information campaign for federalism, when there is no final draft yet of the proposed new constitution which would usher in a shift to a federal form of government.

The ConCom draft is still subject to amendments or even a complete overhaul once Congress decides to amend or revise the Constitution by calling for either a constituent assembly or constitutional convention.