By MARIA EDEN T. DINO
PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson returned her Thomasian Alumni in Government Service award on Wednesday despite the refusal of UST Alumni Association Inc. (UST-AAI) to revoke it.
Uson’s representative returned the award to UST-AAI Chairman Emeritus Robert Sy and Board Adviser Jack Castañeda.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Uson explained her reason for voluntarily giving the award back.
“Sa kabila ng desisyon ng UST Alumni Association Inc. na hindi bawiin ang award na iginawad sa akin, nagdesisyon po akong ibalik ang award dahil pilit na nililihis ng ibang tao ang mas mahahalagang usapin tulad ng Dengvaxia at iba pang nangyayari sa bayan.”
Uson said she hopes that her decision would stop the public from condemning UST-AAI President Henry Tenedero.
“Sobra na rin ang pambu-bully ng ilang Thomasians sa president ng UST Alumni Association Inc. na si Sir Henry Tenedero. […] Sana sa aking pagsauli nito ay tigilan na nila ang pangbu-bully nila sa USTAAI.”
Following the flak the association drew from the controversial award feted to Uson, Tenedero formally resigned as UST alumni head on Jan. 23.
“As head of [UST-AAI], President Tenedero humbly takes full responsibility on what has happened, thus, tendering his resignation,” UST-AAI said in a statement released Tuesday.
The UST-AAI, however, stood firm with its decision not to rescind the recognition given to Uson on Sunday and clarified that the award was under the initiative of the association. The decision also has nothing to do with the director of the UST Alumni Relations and UST itself.
The UST-AAI apologized to the Thomasian community and the general public from the outcry the award caused.
After Tenedero’s resignation, Uson commended USTAAI for its stand on the issue.
“Lingid sa kaalaman ng lahat, bago pa po lumabas ang statement nila ay sinabi ko na po sa President ng UST Alumni Association Inc. na si Sir Henry Tenedero na akin na pong isasauli ang award. Ngunit sinabi niya sa akin nawala sa isip nila na ito’y bawiin,” she said.
While she called some Thomasians “over acting” for setting fire on the issue, the Communications assistant secretary urged the public to give more attention to the dengue vaccination program controversy in the country and the eruption of the Mt. Mayon.
“Let’s all move on at tumulong tayo sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
Uson and 18 other alumni working in the House of Representatives, Senate, judiciary and executive branches of government were conferred the Thomasian Alumni in Government Service award during the Grand Alumni Homecoming held Jan. 21.
Uson, who earned a degree in medical technology from UST, is known for her strong pro-administration statements and propagation of fake news. F