MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson as the new Deputy Executive Director of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, according to a new list of presidential appointees from Malacañang.
Speaking on her radio program, Uson said she will now have more time to focus on the needs of overseas Filipino workers including the creation of a Department for OFWs.
"Mukhang dadami ang puting buhok ko," she jested.
Uson was among the celebrities that heavily campaigned for Duterte in 2016. She was later appointed communications assistant secretary in May 2017 but resigned last year after a string of gaffes and controversies.
She ran as first nominee of the AA Kasosyo party-list, which Uson said aims to help Filipinos, particularly overseas workers, become successful entrepreneurs. The party-list group failed to win a seat in the May 2019 polls.
Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite, meantime, said Uson's appointment was "illegal and should not be enforced" as losing candidates cannot be assigned to a government post within a year under the 1987 Constitution.
Gaite cited Section 6, Article IX B of the Constitution, which provides that:
“No candidate who has lost in any election, shall within one year after election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or controlled corporation or in any of its subsidiaries.”
He also cited Section 94 of the Local Government Code, which states: "No elective or appointive local official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure."
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez and Comelec Education and Information Division Dir. Atty. Frances Arabe, however, said the prohibitions do not apply to to partylist nominees.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo echoed their statements, citing a Comelec resolution which he did not specify. --With reports from Zandro Ochona, Johnson Manabat, and Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News