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Monday, July 15, 2024

Group rejects Uson apology for deaf video, files complaint

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The Philippine Federation of the Deaf on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and blogger Drew Olivar before the Office of the Ombudsman for mocking the sign language.

Carolyn Dagani, the group’s president, along with Philippine Deaf Resource Center executive director Liza Martinez, Philippine Coalition on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities convenor Lauro Purcil, and their members filed the complaint against the two. 

They said they could not accept their apology, and that Uson should be held accountable for her conduct unbecoming of a public official.

The complainants made their statement even as Malacañang said it will not object if the Office of the Ombudsman decides to dismiss Uson following her video mocking the sign language.

“If the Ombudsman decides she needs to be fired, we won’t object to that,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told reporters.

He said the Executive Department will respect the decision of the Ombudsman.

“Let us wait for the decision of the Ombudsman because there is a complaint,” Roque said. 

“The Ombudsman can order the dismissal of anyone in government because it is both an administrative and a criminal case.”

Said Dagani: What kind of a model is she?

Uson should resign, she said through an interpreter.

“Mocha Uson and Drew Olivar were laughing and making fun of us. Together, they stepped all over us and crushed us, killing our dignity. If only they realized what a rich visual language our Filipino sign language is,” her complaint read.

“Deaf people do not make fun of hearing people when they speak and use spoken languages and yet Mocha Uson and Drew Olivar mocked us. This is discrimination.”

Uson posted a 40-second video showing Olivar making fun of the sign language and making sounds as she was heard laughing in the background.

She even told Olivar that “you’re like a monkey.” 

The duo had already apologized, but later on took down their public apology from their Facebook accounts.

But the deaf community rejected their apology, citing the disrespect, insult and ridicule they received.

“I have asked so many people and they do not want to accept their apology,” Dagani said.

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