Mocha Uson asks to reclassify Rappler as 'social media'

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Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and digital media company Rappler. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 7) — Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson asked to reclassify digital media company Rappler from a member of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC), to a member of her "Social Media" office.

Uson posted her request letter addressed to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar Monday on her Facebook page.

Her letter read: "Rappler as an online publication that has no counterpart print or broadcast arm is technically considered social media."

Rappler responded through an article published on their site, saying that Uson's request is "misinformed" and "misplaced."

In its article, Rappler reiterated that as an independent media outfit, the Constitution grants them press freedom.

The media outfit also added the MPC rules cover internet-based media. It also said the MPC is not under the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

Uson then responded in another post, saying that reclassification would not impede Rappler's freedom of speech.

"Hindi naman pakikialaman ang Blog niyo. Paki (G)oogle RECLASSIFIED," the post read.

[Translation: We are not interfering with your blog. Please Google RECLASSIFIED.]

Last August, a Department Order from the PCOO allowed the accreditation of bloggers and social media practitioners to cover President Rodrigo Duterte's special events.

The order allows Filipino individuals at least 18 years old to cover for free, but requires them to have not less than 5,000 followers on their social media platforms.

READ: PCOO to accredit bloggers for Presidential coverages

Uson has been under fire for her tirades against mainstream media outfits, as well as reported instances of posting misleading information on her Facebook page.

The Communications Assistant Secretary was appointed to her current position in May, and is a member of Mocha Girls - a dance group which openly backed Duterte's presidency.