Lawmaker returns UST Alumni award to protest similar honor given to Mocha Uson

January 23, 2018 - 6:54 AM
PCOO ASec. Mocha Uson answers senators' questions at the Senate hearing on fake news in this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo. GEREMY PINTOLO, PHIL. STAR

MANILA – In protest of the initiative of the UST Alumni Association that gave Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson the Thomasian in Government Service Award, Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin returned the same award given to him by the group.

“I am returning the Thomasian in Government Service Award given to me last January 21 by the UST Alumni Association because I refuse to buy into their recent justification for awarding Mocha Uson that one only needed to be a graduate of our Alma Mater, and be part of government,” he said in a statement.

“If that were true, then all Thomasian civil servants should have also been given such an award,” Villarin, who is with the opposition bloc at the House, said.

He said it was “shameful and unpleasant” for someone to accept the award when his or her actions “go against the core values of Thomasians — truth in charity, as well as public accountability and transparency in government.”

“Uson is a purveyor of fake news, an unrepentant violator of ethical standards in journalism, and a free-flowing fountain of foul language and obscenity. Indeed, she has corrupted the values that Thomasians hold dear,” he said.

The partylist lawmaker said he was “humbled” by the award and initially initially decided to accept it.

“But awards should distinguish role models from the rest based on merit. Awards should stand for something but if they can mean anything, then they are nothing,” he said.

“I firmly believe that Thomasians are and will always be challenged to stand for truth in channeling genuine charity for others, in whatever way they can, with or without recognition,” he added.

Earlier reports said that two awardees also returned the recognition after learning that Uson was given the same.