Senator Bam Aquino blasted Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson for claiming that several mainstream media did not get her side before publishing news articles, while “she never got the side of others.”
“Sa dinami-daming mga blog mo tungkol sa amin dito may isang beses ba na humingi ka ng side namin?” Aquino asked Uson in a heated exchange during the Senate committee on public information and mass media hearing on fake news, Wednesday.
“In your case never kang humingi ng side ng nilagay mong blog dito. In fact the other day may blog ka sa Senate minority. May isang beses ka bang humingi ng side namin?” he added.
Uson responded by saying, “With all due respect, your honor, hindi po ako journalist… Blogger ako. Hindi ako journalist. (I am a blogger. I am not a journalist)
She insisted that her blog posts were “just her opinions.”
Aquino repeatedly asked his questions insisting that Uson demanded that her side be taken by media.
“Hinihingi mo sa GMA News Online na hingin yung side mo. Sa dinami-dami ng mga blog mo tungkol sa amin dito. May isang beses ba na humingi ka ng side namin?” Aquino said.
Senator Vicente Sotto III butted in and corrected Aquino: “Ako ang nagsabi nun. Ako ang nagtanong sa GMA News Online.”
Despite the correction, Aquino pressed on and told Uson, “Asec Mocha, sabi mo kay Mr. Tordecilla: ‘Hiningi mo ba yung side ko?’ Ang sabi n’ya he tried. Ang sabi mo, ‘Hindi…’”
Aquino was referring to Jaemark Tordecilla of GMA News Online, which Uson accused of coming out of fake news against her.
It was Uson’s turn to correct Aquino: “Senator, hindi ko s’ya tinanong kung hiningi niya ang side ko. Si Senator Sotto ang nagtanong.”
This prompted the senator to change his line of questioning.
“So, sa tingin mo ba kailangan na hiningi niya ang side mo?” Aquino said.
“Natural, journalist sila. Trabaho nila yon: kunin ang both sides,” Uson responded.
“In your case, never ka humingi ng nilagyan mo ng blog dito… May isang beses ba na humingi ka ng side namin?” the senator pressed on.
Uson repeated, “Senator, with all due respect, hindi ako journalist.”
Aquino persisted, “Yes or no, may isang beses ba na humingi ka ng side namin?”
“I refuse to answer that question lumalayo po tayo sa issue, I invoke my right against self-incrimination,” said Uson.
“So fairness ang hinihingi mo Asec Mocha. You’re asking that these organizations be fair to you so ang sinasabi ko lang hinihingi mo yung fairness pwedeng bang bigyan mo rin kami ng fairness?” Aquino retorted.
Despite this, Uson refused to answer and insisted that “bloggers have a right to their own opinions or to ask the side of others.”
“Opinion based ang blogging unlike in mainstream media,” Uson said. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.