WATCH | Mocha returns UST award, rues ‘bullying’ of alumni association head

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MANILA – Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson on Wednesday returned the controversial award given her by the University of Sto. Tomas Alumni Association, which had come under heavy criticism for recognizing someone critics called a “fake news” purveyor who does not represent Thomasian values.

According to Uson, she directed her staff to return the award Wednesday morning, as she was flying out to India to accompany President Rodrigo Duterte on a summit.

Uson, who has been criticized for her penchant for using foul language, said she wanted to stop the attacks against the UST alumni association president Henry Tenedero, who resigned late Tuesday.

Philstar file photo of Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson

The Palace official insisted she did not ask for the award, and described as “overacting” the reactions of some UST graduates, including non-Thomasians who waded into the fray.

“Isinauli ko yung award dahil sobra na ang pambubully ng ilang Thomasians kay Sir Henry Tenedoro, yung presidente ng UST Alumni Associations. Ibabalik ko na lang po para matapos ang isyu dahil ginagamit ang isyu ng ibang tao kahit maliit lang. Ano ba naman itong isyu kumpara sa dengvaxia? [I returned the award because of the intense bullying by some Thomasians of alumni president Henry Tenedero. I’m returning it to end the issue. It’s such a small matter compared to the dengvaxia scandal],” said Uson, referring to the dengue vaccine scandal involving the past administration.

Uson also took a dig at Sen. Joel Villanueva, her fellow awardee for the Thomasians in Government Service category, who was quoted saying he felt bad that someone like Uson also received a similar award.

Since she and Villanueva belong to the same Christian sect, she said she was dismayed that he would speak this way of her.

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She pointed out that it was not her who’s facing a case before the Ombudsman – a dig at Villanueva, who was implicated in a case involving misuse of pork barrel funds when he was conggressman for Bulacan.

Uson, meanwhile, shrugged off the move of some past awardees to return their awards in protest over the USTAA’s recognition of her work.

They are entitled to their opinion, she said.

Meanwhile, she took a dig at critics slamming her for not representing UST “core values.” “Tanong ko rin sa kanila, sila ba kinakatawan nila yang UST core values sa kanilang pang-aalipusta sa isang tao na tulad ko [I ask them in turn, do they represent the core values when they malign somebody like me]?”