Palace: Mocha free to perform in venues where gov't officials are allowed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — The Palace said while Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson has decided to stop performing in casinos, she may still do so in venues where government officials are allowed.

"The law is clear and (Communications Secretary Martin) Andanar has discussed with Asec. Uson why we must discourage her from performing in casinos," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a briefing, Friday.

On Thursday, posts of Uson performing at Bar 360 in Resorts World Manila circulated on social media.

Read: Andanar: PCOO ‘looking into’ Mocha Uson’s casino hotel performance

In 2016, the Palace issued Memorandum Circular No. 6, which states that all government officials, employees, members of the Armed Forces, and persons under 21 are banned from entering, staying, or playing in gambling casinos.

"Rightly or wrongly, casinos tend to convey extravagance and questionable ethical practices in the public mind," Abella said. "Hence, those in government must avoid being seen in such places."

Andanar said Uson asked the Presidential Communications and Operations Office to allow her to honor her ongoing entertainment contracts when she entered government, as long as it will not violate any laws.

The communications secretary said they have raised the matter to the Office of the Executive Secretary.

"Si Mocha ay isang presidential appointee at alam natin na ang executive secretary ang naglabas ng utos patungkol sa performance sa isang casino, or mere fact na government employee goes to casinos, pinagbabawalan," Andanar said.

[Translation: Mocha is a presidential appointee and we know the executive secretary issued the memorandum that prohibits performing, or going to casinos.]

Uson was appointed to her current position in May, and is a member of Mocha Girls — a dance group which has supported President Rodrigo Duterte throughout his entire campaign.

Read: Mocha Uson appointed as PCOO Assistant Secretary

CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong, Correspondent Joyce Ilas and Digital Producer Yvette Morales contributed to this report.