Jover Laurio and Aureli Sinsuat, photo compiled from Google
Aureli Sinsuat, an employee under Senator Win Gatchalian, said that people supporting Jover Laurio, the blogger behind Pinoy Ako Blog, are supporting fake news.

"If you are willing to denounce “fake news” when it offends your political and moral sensibilities, yet refuse to condemn equally malicious content when it suits your purposes, then you are no better than the pro-administration “trolls” you so arrogantly disparage on a daily basis."



He said that Pinoy AKo Blog (PAB) on September 24, 2017 published a satirical open-letter to his employer, Senator Win Gatchalian, titled “Isa pang Senador Hindi Alam ang Mandato ng CHR”.

He said that in that post, PAB slammed Gatchalian’s call for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the tragic hazing death of freshman UST Law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo.

"The post was arrogant, poorly written, unfairly disparaging, and downright defamatory, even going so far as to feature a photo of Gatchalian edited to include several cartoon trolls. It also contained outright misinformation concerning the mandate of CHR, which has been a highly-charged political issue as of late," he said.

He said that the statement was false, as according to Atty De Leon of the CHR herself, during the Atio case Senate hearing, the CHR also investigates violations committed against vulnerable sectors, including the youth.

According to Atty. De Leon, several human rights were indeed violated by the hazing perpetrators (law students, who are obviously non-State actors), including the right of a person to be free from any cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; arbitrary deprivation of life; and the right to dignity. She also mentioned that the CHR had already investigated hazing cases in the past, well before the extent of their mandate had become a political flashpoint.



Sinsuat criticized how PAB  berated Senator Win for calling on CHR to give recommendations on how to stop hazing:

“At bakit CHR ang magrerecommend ng appropriate steps? Trabaho niyo po yan na gumawa ng batas to stop the senseless killings. Or baguhin niyo ang existing law ngayon ang Anti Hazing Law. Pero hindi pa naman po huli ang lahat. Puwede pa kayong magbasa po ng mga cases at books para po next time, tamang statement na po sasabihin niyo po. Hindi na asal troll," the blog was quoted as saying.

He quoted Sec. 18(6), Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution? It is expressly stated therein that one of the functions of CHR is to “recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families.”

"No? Oh. Well, then the author must be joking in her implication that Senator Win was just lazily passing the buck on to CHR without doing any legislative work on hazing himself, right? Surely, the author must have read about the priority bill filed by Senator Gatchalian to repeal and replace the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995? A bill which has been the senator’s advocacy since his days in the House of Representatives, where it had already been approved on third and final reading?" he said.

Read full case study below:

The big story on Philippine social media today has been the Internet’s reaction to the unmasking of Ms. Jover Laurio, a 36-year old law student, as the person behind the ferociously anti-administration website PINOY AKO BLOG (PAB).

In a post published on PAB earlier today, a seemingly stressed-out but ever-tenacious Ms. Laurio revealed that she has been the target of numerous death threats and other forms of digital abuse since her pro-administration rivals in the blogging scene revealed her identity. In response to this, anti-administration netizens have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their support for Ms. Laurio and her blog.



To the people who have contributed to the outpouring of support, I ask a simple question: To what extent do you support Ms. Laurio and PAB?

If you are merely vindicating Ms. Laurio’s right to express her opinions and seek to protect her from the onslaught of terrible personal attacks being thrown her way, then I too must join cause with you. No person should have to suffer death threats or be intimidated and harassed for contributing their voice to the frustrating cacophony of the national political discourse, no matter how grating and obnoxious that voice may be. Like you, I sincerely hope Ms. Laurio will remain safe from harm, and I strongly condemn the vicious threats being launched against her.

However, if your support goes beyond the physical and emotional well-being of Ms. Laurio, and is in reality an endorsement of the content published by PAB on a daily basis, then I regret to say that we are now at odds. If you support the vitriolic content of the publication itself, then you are in fact supporting the propagation of the same sort of “fake news” which you accuse MOCHA USON BLOG, Thinking Pinoy, and other Duterte-aligned blogs of spreading. Allow me to illustrate with a simple example.

On September 24, 2017, PAB published a satirical open-letter to my boss, Senator Win Gatchalian, flippantly titled “Isa pang Senador Hindi Alam ang Mandato ng CHR”. In that post (presumably written, or at the very least approved by Ms. Laurio) PAB slammed Gatchalian’s call for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the tragic hazing death of freshman UST Law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo.

The post was arrogant, poorly written, unfairly disparaging, and downright defamatory, even going so far as to feature a photo of Gatchalian edited to include several cartoon trolls. It also contained outright misinformation concerning the mandate of CHR, which has been a highly-charged political issue as of late.



For example, the post categorically stated (with less clarity and precision than this, to be sure) that hazing incidents such as Atio’s are not within the jurisdiction of the CHR because hazing is not perpetrated by State actors:

“Bakit niyo po pinapa imbestigahan ang kaso ng hazing victim na si Horacio Castillo III?  Senator Win, trabaho po yan ng mga pulis, unless ang isa sa mga participant ay member ng PNP or military, puwedeng imbestigahan yan ng CHR. Parang troll statement lang na lahat papaembistagahan sa CHR.”

This is false, and no less than Atty. Diana De Leon of the CHR herself proved this during the Senate hearing held to investigate Atio Castillo’s death. At the hearing, Atty. De Leon explicitly stated that the CHR had taken cognizance of the Atio Castillo case because “under our mandate, we also investigate violations committed against vulnerable sectors, including the youth.” 

According to Atty. De Leon, several human rights were indeed violated by the hazing perpetrators (law students, who are obviously non-State actors), including the right of a person to be free from any cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; arbitrary deprivation of life; and the right to dignity. She also mentioned that the CHR had already investigated hazing cases in the past, well before the extent of their mandate had become a political flashpoint. 

But wait, there’s more! Upon further questioning by the presiding officer, Senator Ping Lacson, Atty. De Leon expressed stated that CHR has jurisdiction to investigate violations of human rights perpetrated by non-State actors. In fact, she revealed that CHR was looking into the potential liability of the University of Santo Tomas (another non-State actor) as duty bearer to ensure that proper mechanisms are in place to prevent hazing. In short, no less than a ranking official of the CHR itself proved the completely falsity of the now-discredited “fact” squarely presented by PAB: That the CHR has no business investigating hazing incidents.

Oh, but it gets worse. PAB even berated Senator Win for calling on CHR to give recommendations on how to stop hazing:

“At bakit CHR ang magrerecommend ng appropriate steps? Trabaho niyo po yan na gumawa ng batas to stop the senseless killings. Or baguhin niyo ang existing law ngayon ang Anti Hazing Law.”

I find this particular misinformed diatribe particularly funny when read in conjunction with another haughty comment thrown in at the end of the post:

“Pero hindi pa naman po huli ang lahat. Puwede pa kayong magbasa po ng mga cases at books para po next time, tamang statement na po sasabihin niyo po. Hindi na asal troll.”

Truly, the barefaced hypocrisy of this statement is absolutely mind-blowing.

I mean surely, the author must have read Sec. 18(6), Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution? It is expressly stated therein that one of the functions of CHR is to “recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families.”

No? Oh. Well, then the author must be joking in her implication that Senator Win was just lazily passing the buck on to CHR without doing any legislative work on hazing himself, right? Surely, the author must have read about the priority bill filed by Senator Gatchalian to repeal and replace the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995? A bill which has been the senator’s advocacy since his days in the House of Representatives, where it had already been approved on third and final reading?

Nothing? Well damn. I mean really, even a simple Google search would’ve sufficed.

I then attempted to reach out to PAB to give them a chance to correct their errors. In a series of tweets, I pointed their attention to the statements of Atty. De Leon as well as to jurisprudence which indicates that the jurisdiction of the CHR is not defined by the identity of the violating actor, but rather by the character of the right violated.

Unfortunately, I was ignored. No apology, retraction, or correction. Not even a measly ‘like’ of my tweet. I suppose Ms. Laurio also subscribes to the theory of ASec Mocha that bloggers are not bound by the same standards of fairness that apply to mainstream journalists.

Anyway, there you have it. A clear-cut example of PINOY AKO BLOG committing the very same sins alleged against pro-administration blogs, in a single post: Deliberate and willful misinformation, ruthless defamation of character, and refusing to correct manifestly erroneous content. The only difference is that, instead of defending the administration, she attacked one of its allies.

So again, I ask you, supporters of PINOY AKO BLOG: Just how far does your support go? 

Fake news is fake news. Period. I don’t care whether your social media echo chamber is colored yellow, red, blue, or turquoise – if you are willing to denounce “fake news” when it offends your political and moral sensibilities, yet refuse to condemn equally malicious content when it suits your purposes, then you are no better than the pro-administration “trolls” you so arrogantly disparage on a daily basis.

Source: Aureli Sinsuat


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A brilliant and unbiased case study of a UP alumnus on Jover Laurio's issue A brilliant and unbiased case study of a UP alumnus on Jover Laurio's issue Reviewed by FN Correspondent on Sunday, October 15, 2017 Rating: 5

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