Deaf group files complaint vs. Mocha Uson before Ombudsman

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Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson was in hot water recently after a viral Facebook clip showed her— along with blogger Drew Olivar— "mocking" sign language and the deaf community.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — A deaf group lodged a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson for posting a video which made fun of sign language.

The Philippine Federation of the Deaf, in its complaint filed Thursday, said Uson and blogger Drew Olivar violated their rights under the Magna Carta of Persons with Disabilities.

 

Under Section 39 of the law, public ridicule shall be defined as an act of making fun or contemptuous imitating or making a mockery of persons with disability whether in writing, or in words, or in action due to their impairment.

The law states first-time violators may be fined ₱50,000 to ₱100,000 or imprisonment ranging from six months to two years. Subsequent violations will be fined ₱100,000 to ₱200,000, or detention from two years to six years.

"The ridicule brought on by this video is an affront to both being deaf, and our right to the use of manual communication and our sign language," the complaint read.

The group added their rights are enshrined under the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It also called for the Presidential Communications Operations Office to look into Uson's possible violations in public service, and check if the state should be accountable for her actions.

"It is clear that the administrative memo issued to her by the PCOO for the first video had no demonstrable effect on her sense of duty, integrity or propriety," it said.

This is not the first time Uson and Olivar drew controversy for video posts online. In August, the two were lambasted for a federalism video which included the chant "Pepedederalismo."

While Uson said she meant well with the video, PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy issued her a memo to mind her behavior on social media.