Deaf group to file charges vs Mocha Uson over 'offensive' sign language video


Posted at Sep 19 2018 06:07 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2018 07:04 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Federation of the Deaf said Wednesday it would file a complaint against Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson for her involvement in a video that supposedly makes fun of sign language. 

The complaint will be lodged before the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday, the group said.

The Commission on Human Rights, meanwhile, has begun an investigation into the incident.

"Our CHR-NCR (National Capital Region) office is already investigating the case as part of our mandate to protect the rights of the vulnerable sector, also in recognition of the complaint filed by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf," it said.

In a video posted by Uson on social media last week, blogger Drew 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 video has drawn criticism prompting Uson and Olivar to post separate videos of apology to the deaf community.

The commission joined the call on the government to penalize Uson and Olivar despite their public apology.

"Government officials should be the first in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs), not the violator of their rights," it said.

"We welcome the public apology the duo recently issued. However, for an apology to be genuine, it must be coupled with a full sense of accountability, concrete actions to rectify the wrong done, and future actions should manifest efforts to protect and promote the welfare and dignity of the PWDs."

Uson's 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. --With a report from Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News