After the hunt for the blogger behind Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB) and the constant bashing from netizens, she finally revealed herself on October 13.
She turned out to be 36-year-old law student Maria Josephina Vergina “Jover” Laurio, who chose to finally out herself after she was identified by pro-Duterte bloggers RJ Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, and Sass Rogando Sasot.
PAB’s anti-Duterte posts caught the attention of Nieto and Sasot, among others. Nieto even said they were looking for the person who runs PAB for the then anonymous blogger’s alleged libelous posts against them.
Their hunt for PAB led them to uncover the identity of the blog webmaster called Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao, who was initially accused as PAB’s owner. However, a webmaster’s role involves dealing with the technical aspects of running a website, such as domain registration. Laurio clarified that despite accusations, she was alone in handling content creation. The pro-Duterte bloggers then stumbled upon Laurio’s identity, posted about it on the Internet, which spread quickly in the online community.
In the open letter posted on her blog revealing her identity, Laurio acknowledged the difficulties that her family has been facing since her identity was exposed.
“Etong week na to was the hardest for me and my family. Nag file na ako ng leave of absence from work because of the threats and hate messages I have been receiving from my personal account both from Twitter and Facebook. I have filed a leave of absence from school too,” Laurio wrote.
“These people are trying to destroy my life by exposing my picture, my real name and my school. Araw-araw the attacks are escalating. Siguro lahat ng klase ng pambabalahura naranasan ko na from DDS minions. Nanay ko naapektuhan na but she said “laban lang,” she added.
She added that she has talked to lawyers to file criminal and civil cases, with pro bono lawyers offering their services, including former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay.
As of October 16, PAB has over 100,000 followers on Facebook.
“Pinaglalaban ko dito ay ang karapatan ko magpahayag. Kung ang bawat pumuna sa gobyernong ito ay sisirain nila ang buhay, I guess it is time to resist,” PAB wrote.
According to Hilbay, he and the other members of the Alyansa ng mga Abogado Para sa Bayan (ALAB) are “extending legal services to Ms. Laurio so she can defend herself and pursue her harassers.”
Hilbay said that Laurio’s outing was a “serious and repeated violation of her constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression.”
“These constitutional violations give rise to multiple criminal and independent civil actions pursuant to the Crybercrime Prevention Act, the Data Privacy Act, and the various provisions of the Civil Code relating to Human Relations,” he added.
On the other hand, pro-Duterte blogger Sasot is also preparing to file a libel case of her own against Laurio. She started crowdfunding to raise $10,000 to fund her libel case against PAB, but as of the morning of October 16, she has already exceeded her goal.
Sasot said she is going to sue Laurio for accusing her of being a prostitute in the Netherlands and for deadnaming her with a name she no longer uses, except in legal documents.
“Besides the humiliation brought by her fabricated story that I work as a prostitute here in The Netherlands, Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog subjected me to the TERROR Riedel identified for SEVERAL MONTHS while hiding behind the veil of ANONYMITY,” Sasot wrote in her Gava Gives page.
She has also been calling for witnesses against PAB to help boost her libel case.
Sasot further said that she is returning to the Philippines in November to file her charges against PAB, while promising to spend the excess funds from her crowdfunding efforts on forum to be held in European cities and the planned DDS summit in Madrid, Spain in April next year.
She also provided a website for crowdfunding transparency for the funds that she has raised.