Agot to Sasot after BBC confrontation: If they want to talk to you, they will find you

Actress Agot Isidro took to Twitter to react to a Duterte supporter confronting a BBC correspondent over the broadcasting company’s interview with an anti-Duterte blogger.
“Sweetie, last year BBC tried to get in touch with me for an interview, too. If they want to talk to you, they will find you. Do the math,” Isidro tweeted.

Her tweet came after pro-Duterte blogger Sass Rogando Sasot confronted BBC South East Asian correspondent Jonathan Head in the afternoon of November 13 at the International Media Center in Pasay City, where local and foreign media were situated to cover the ASEAN Summit.

Sasot questioned the BBC for giving Duterte critic Jover Laurio, the woman behind Pinoy Ako Blog, whom she described as a “minor blogger,” a platform on the UK-based network.

According to Interaksyon’s report, Sasot and Head’s encounter started when the BBC correspondent approached Communications Asec. Mocha Uson to greet her. Uson was with Sasot then.

“Can you please explain to me why Jover Laurio, whose Facebook engagement is like way, way, way lower than me, was being followed by BBC?” she asked Head.

He denied following Laurio’s blog, so Sasot added, “If BBC is not following what’s happening to Pinoy Ako Blog, how come they know it?”

Head explained how there are lots of ways for BBC producers to find out about people they have taken interest in and raise issues and denied having PR agencies pushing people on.

“So can you tell me, Mr. Jonathan, how is it possible that Jover Laurio, a very minor blogger in the Philippines, was featured by the BBC in order to defend herself against the people who outed her identity, but not someone like me whose social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her, and who you have even interacted on Facebook?” Sasot asked.
Her concern over her safety also cropped up in the exchange, noting how her address in The Hague was made public.

“I know that in order for you to be interviewed by a big platform like BBC, you should have been given access. It’s either that you were really, really famous, that you are a decision-maker of a country, you are a celebrity, and you’re gonna be given this platform. But Jover Laurio is none of that. The only link to that is that she is being protected, sponsored, financed probably by the Liberal Party of the Philippines,” Sasot added.

Head offered to have their conversation elsewhere, leading to an exchange of details over their schedules. Sasot will be going to Davao on November 14, while Head will still be in Manila until November 15. He also suggested to connect on social media, where Sasot can “raise anything” with him anytime.

When their conversation resumed, it focused back on Laurio with Sasot telling Head that the Duterte critic “was slandering and libeling people along the way, especially those who are critical of the Vice President of the Philippines.”

Sasot then said, “And the BBC and the international media do not care about this anger. All you care about is whether is the president has a paid troll network or not. And you have insulted not just me but millions of followers and supporters of the president.”

She also told Head that many people felt insulted over the idea that the BBC only got one side of the story.

“Do you know that a lot of overseas Filipino workers are doing everything in order to combat the lies being peddled by mainstream media, including Rappler, Inquirer, ABS-CBN? And I know that international media is only getting its feed from these people because they have power, resources, and connections to do this. You know, a lot of people are insulted that you are only covering one side of the story,” Sasot told Head.

To which Head replied, “That’s not true. We have covered many sides.”

Sasot also said that she wanted to talk to the BBC team behind the production of Laurio’s BBC interview or that they should contact her after Head offered to talk to her about her issues with his reporting or the BBC in general. She insisted that the issue she wanted to know more about was which “powerful group” gave Laurio “access to BBC.”

Sasot even burst into tears during the confrontation which, despite the tension, still ended on a polite note.

Here’s another viral post containing the videos of Sasot’s confrontation with Head:

“Sass” even trended on Twitter in the evening of November 13.

Feminist leader Elizabeth Angsioco, who has been interviewed by international media organizations such as CNN and Wall Street Journal, among others, also echoed Isidro’s tweet.

“You do not contact them. They contact you. If your issue is relevant, THEY WILL CONTACT YOU,” she said.

Award-winning writer Miguel Syjuco also weighed in on the issue after reposting videos of the confrontation.

“Blogger Sass Sasot attacking a BBC reporter, cursing, raising her voice, irate that Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog was the only Pinoy blogger on the BBC. Sasot was upset that the news network gave a “minor blogger” what she calls “legitimacy.” Because apparently the only views that the world should hear about the Philippines and its government with almost absolute power are from the pro-DDS mob,” Syjuco wrote.

In the comments section, we spotted Laurio, the main subject of Sasot’s ire in the confrontation with BBC.

“My interview is more than a month ago na po. Hindi naman niya kailangan bastusin yung journalist. Ni hindi nga po yun ang nag interview po sa akin,” Sasot replied.

When a netizen asked her the same question Sasot asked Head about how her interview with the BBC unfolded, Laurio merely said that the UK-based broadcasting company reached out to her via Twitter.

Laurio also uploaded a screenshot of the Twitter direct message that someone from the BBC sent to her.

Uson addressed the issue of the confrontation by explaining that what Sasot did and the manner by which she talked to Head was not because she was arrogant but because it was her way of ensuring that she will be respected in the conversation. She added that given Sasot’s years of living in The Netherlands, she has grown used to their way of speaking, something that we, Filipinos, are not used to.

“Sa mga nag cocomment na arrogant daw si For the Motherland – Sass Rogando Sasot sa pakikipag usap sa BBC halatang hindi nila alam ang background at hindi napanuod ang buong video. Ayon nga po kay Sass, Hindi po kasi tayo sanay sa paguusap sa mga puti especially BRITON. Si Sass po ay taga Hague. Nag masters pa po siya doon. Nakakasama sa mga debate at mga confrontations,” Uson said.

“Alam niya paano makipag usap sa mga puti. Kung lalamya lamya ka they will not respect you. Sabi nga po niya normal ang ganyan sa kanila. Nabigla lang tayo dahil Pinoy tayo. Pag malamya ka sa pakikipagusap sa mga puti Briton o European yari ka sa argument. Kakayan kayanin ka nila. Wala kang panalo and they will not listen to you. Sanay kasi tayo sa bait baitan pag nakikipag usap. Iba po sa kanila. At sanay si Sass sa ganyan. Dahil taga dun siya at nag masters pa po siya doon,” she added.

Uson also provided three links to her own videos of the confrontation as well as the podcast that followed, featuring Sasot and another Duterte supporter, Rey Joseph Nieto.

Sources: ( )

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