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Roque wants Mocha under his tutelage

Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A, REYES

When Harry meets Mocha, can the blogger, who has been criticized for spreading fake news, learn from the law professor about the role of mainstream media?

Hopefully, she does.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said that he wanted to put Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) under his “tutelage” and teach her one subject — the importance of mainstream media.

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Vital role

Roque said he wanted to convince Uson and other supporters of President Duterte about the mainstream media’s vital role in exposing the failures of the previous Aquino administration.

“You know, I like her; she likes me. I will forever be a law professor and I will forever consider individuals under my tutelage on important matters,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

“So, I hope Asec Mocha will accept being a student of the spokesperson,” he added.

Uson, who handles social media for the PCOO, has been critical of mainstream media. Her Facebook page has more than 5 million followers.

Presence in briefing

Roque said he had wanted Uson to be at Monday’s media briefing but he forgot to invite her.

“Too bad. I was hoping Mocha was here so I could address Mocha and her audience but I forgot to invite her. I intended to directly talk to the DDS (Die-hard Duterte Supporters),” said Roque, who distributed “pan de sal” (salted bread) to reporters.

“I guess, in due course, we will explain in a manner that everyone will understand why the right to freedom of expression and a free press are important,” he added.

Roque said Mr. Duterte would not have won last year’s election if the mainstream media did not expose the failures of the Aquino presidency.

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Hollow blocks

“For me, one reason why the President came to power — and I’m explaining this to the DDS — is because the media also exposed the failures of the previous administration,” he said.

“So now, let us give bread to the media,” he added.

Roque earlier said that he would throw hollow blocks at the President’s critics but he later explained that the statement was meant for Mr. Duterte’s supporters to emphasize that he had “the President’s back covered.”

‘Nothing to fear’

“Now, [the] media has nothing to fear because while there are a lot of criticisms, these are being answered, and I think it is one of my responsibilities to answer those criticisms,” he said.

“Before we forget, the [indecisiveness] of the previous administration, the corruption of the pork barrel which was evidence that [the Aquino administration] had many failures, we would not have known that if not for the legitimate media,” he added.

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