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

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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.

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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: ( interaksyon.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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