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Pinoy Ako Blog reveals herself, to file libel cases vs. pro-Duterter bloggers; Sasot to file libel against her too

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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.

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“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.

Pinoy Ako Blog

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.

Pinoy Ako Blog

She also provided a website for crowdfunding transparency for the funds that she has raised.

Sources: ( rappler.com , pinoyakoblog.com , philstar.com )

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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