ANTI-DUTERTE BLOG­GER SMOKED OUT

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - By Nikko Di­zon @NikkoDi­zonINQ

Now it can be told: De­spite the male icon on the Pi­noy Ako Blog (PAB) page, Mr. Pi­noy is ac­tu­ally a woman.

Jover Lau­rio, whose anony­mous blog crit­i­cal of the ad­min­is­tra­tion has reached nearly four million hits last month, re­vealed her iden­tity on Fri­day af­ter al­legedly be­ing ha­rassed and threat­ened by on­line sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Duterte.

De­spite be­ing forced to out her­self, the 36-year-old pro­fes­sional who is tak­ing up law, said her blog would con­tinue.

“They were able to force me to re­veal my iden­tity but they can­not stop me from blog­ging. I know I am in the right. They can­not do any­thing to me as a per­son and a blog­ger. They can’t stop me from ex­press­ing my free­dom of speech,” Lau­rio said in a phone in­ter­view.

Lau­rio’s coming out as PAB dis­proved pre­vi­ous claims by pro-Duterte so­cial me­dia war­riors, par­tic­u­larly Think­ing Pi­noy’s RJ Ni­eto and Sass Sa­sot, that one Co­coy Dayao was be­hind the blog.

Witch-hunt

Lau­rio said that Dayao was her blog’s web ad­min­is­tra­tor un­til re­cently, but that her PA Bposts were her own. She added that she chose “Mr. Pi­noy” as her icon and by­line for no spe­cial rea­son.

The pro-Duterte groups’ witch-hunt of the peo­ple be­hind anony­mous anti-ad­min­is­tra­tion sites was trig­gered by the “Seven Deadly Sens” post on a Face­book page called “Silent No More,” which called out seven sen­a­tors for not sign­ing a Se­nate res­o­lu­tion de­mand­ing a stop to the killing of mi­nors in the gov­ern­ment’s war against il­le­gal drugs.

The seven sen­a­tors—Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III, Vi­cente Sotto III, Manny Pac­quiao, Cyn­thia Vil­lar, Gre­go­rio Honasan II, Juan Miguel Zu­biri and Richard Gor­don—protested the memes that re­sulted from the orig­i­nal Silent No More post, and con­vened a Se­nate hear­ing last week on the preva­lence of fake news on so­cial me­dia.

Lau­rio said the pro-Duterte groups man­aged to even­tu­ally con­nect her to Dayao. Sev­eral vlogs (video blogs) re­cently posted by Ni­eto dis­cussed PAB and Lau­rio.

Af­ter be­ing named in Ni­eto’s vlogs, which are avail­able on YouTube, Lau­rio said she has seen posts and com­ments that she be­lieves have ma­ligned her per­son and char­ac­ter.

She will file civil and crim­i­nal cases against those who have ha­rassed her, Lau­rio said, adding that for­mer Solic­i­tor Gen­eral Florin Hil­bay has of­fered to be her lawyer.

She had to file a leave of ab­sence from work be­cause of threats and hate mes­sages di­rected at her per­sonal ac­count on Twit­ter and Face­book, Lau­rio said. “I have filed a leave of ab­sence from school, too,” she added.

In one of her lat­est PAB posts, she wrote: “These peo­ple are try­ing to de­stroy my life by ex­pos­ing my pic­ture, my real name and my school. (Ev­ery day) the at­tacks are es­ca­lat­ing.” Her mother, she added, has started get­ting af­fected by the slurs di­rected her way, but had told her to “keep fight­ing.”

“I know I’m do­ing noth­ing wrong. I am an or­di­nary per­son. But I write in these times when there is a need to stand up to peo­ple, to de­bunk fake news,” Lau­rio said.

PAB, which has over 90,000 fol­low­ers to date, of­ten has screen­shots of quotes, pho­to­graphs and news items to prove as fake news some of the so­cial me­dia posts of Duterte sup­port­ers, no­tably Com­mu­ni­ca­tions As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Mocha Uson.

Sar­cas­tic and funny

Lau­rio said she launched PAB in Fe­bru­ary 2017, as a re­ac­tion to the con­stant sus­pen­sion of her Face­book page which was tar­geted by a group of ne­ti­zens call­ing them­selves Duterte Cy­ber War­riors. The group had ad­mit­ted to re­port­ing ac­counts crit­i­cal of the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion en masse.

In her blog, Lau­rio is of­ten sar­cas­tic and funny in call­ing out the Pres­i­dent, other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and their sup­port­ers, on is­sues that she be­lieves they should be held ac­count­able.

In her post where she re­vealed her­self (“Ako si PAB, o eh ano ngayon?”), Lau­rio wrote that PAB rep­re­sents Ev­ery Filipino—from the mother of vic­tims of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings, to the pub­lic fed up with fake news and the sol­dier de­fend­ing the West Philip­pine Sea.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.