MANILA - The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has urged government to penalize Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and blogger Andrew Olivar for making fun of sign language in a video.
The school, in a statement, said the video was a "clear violation of RA 9442, which penalizes verbal, non-verbal ridicule and vilification against persons with disability."
"The mimicry of sign language and of the Deaf's voice, as well as the statements of incitement and insult from a government official and a blogger are definitely discriminating against the Deaf, their culture, and language," it said.
In a video shared by Uson to her 5.7 million followers last Thursday, Olivar can be seen mimicking sign language and making sounds in an apparent imitation of hearing-impaired people. Uson, who filmed the clip, can be heard laughing in the background.
The school also called on the government to consider the removal of Uson from office.
"We call on the government to take action against Mr. Olivar and Asec. Uson, and impose the appropriate penalties as provided by law," it said.
"Furthermore, the acts of Asec. Uson are deemed unbecoming of a government official who, according to RA 6713, is expected to have a high standard of ethics in public service. We urge this government to consider the removal of Asec. Uson."
The school is an advocate for the deaf community and houses a School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and the Benilde Deaf School.
Uson and Olivar on Monday posted separate videos of apology to the deaf community.
However, Deaf groups on Monday rejected the apology, saying they would still need to consult with their 55 member organizations, as well as the National Council on Disability Affairs. They are thinking of lodging a complaint, as well as coordinating with the government for deaf awareness seminars.
They also want the public to be more aware of how they value sign language, which is their main form of communication. They hope the issue will help promote the proposed law on Filipino Sign Language, which was recently approved by the Senate.
Uson and Olivar's offensive use of sign language was featured in a clip promoting their noontime radio show. The video has garnered 150,000 views.
The duo earlier drew flak for a controversial video featuring the jingle "pepedederalismo" - a play on the term federalism - on Uson's Facebook page. - with reports from Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News