Rigoberto Tiglao, Mar Roxas, Former Pres. Noynoy Aquino and VP Leni Robredo, photo compiled from Google
Even in 2012, when Benigno Aquino III was president, his team already started to use anonimity as a way to attack, says columnist and former politician Rigoberto Tiglao in his column for the ManilaTimes.

The columnist shared the column he wrote in 201 for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, when he was reported to their editor by a large number of letters scrutinizing his writing, after he wrote anti-administration pieces.

He said that he himself investigated the identities of these writers but only found out that their identities were not real.

"I got fed up with these letters, and investigated if the writers were real, either by trying to contact them by email and sending them letters through their regular mail. I even played detective and went to the addresses they claimed were their residence—“no one by that name there,” I was told in a hostile manner by the residents. All but two of the scores of the letters to the editor maligning me or criticizing my columns proved to be authentic."

The title of his column five years ago was "Aquino camp faking letters to the editor".

The article reads,

"Not contented with mainstream media sympathetic to its master, President Aquino’s camp has been faking letters to the editor to vilify those critical of his actions and policies, sources disclosed to this writer. Such bogus letters, many oozing with uncivilized venom, have especially targeted, ever since the impeachment trial started in December, Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Mr. Aquino’s PR operatives have hijacked young people’s Facebook names and fabricated e-mail addresses to use as authors of these spurious letters. These bogus e-mail addresses are mostly Yahoo or Hotmail addresses, as these services enable their users ($20 yearly for Yahoo Plus) to use so-called “disposable e-mail addresses” which conceal the senders’ identities.

Don’t believe my sources; just consider the facts.

A letter to the editor was published in this paper April 2 maligning me. The letter—purportedly written by one Shyril Chloe Quirod—was well-written and even used erudite, uncommon terms as “confrere.”

A boo-boo of Mr. Aquino’s operators in this case: Quirod has a very active Facebook account, which shows her to be a teenage high-schooler from Batasan Hills National High School. Her postings there, mostly in Filipino, are about stuff young girls post in their FBs—“Angpangit ng buhokko!!!!” “Lol, I found the meaning of my name!”

There was no response to attempts at communicating with the purported writer at the e-mail address (shyrill.chloe@hotmail) given to this paper. Aquino’s propagandists have obviously hijacked this teenager’s Facebook identity and used a fake e-mail address to spread their lies through the letters-to-editor section of this newspaper.

Unscrupulous politicians and PR operators have been sending fake letters to the editor ever since newspapers started this venue to get readers’ feedback. A term has even been coined in 1985 to describe the phenomenon—“astroturfing,” derived from the idea of the plastic (artificial) carpet “AstroTurf” replacing real grass (i.e., grassroots support).

Because it is an attack on a newspapers’ credibility, the press, especially in the United States, has long ago established protocol to detect astroturfing. Letter-writers are asked to give their e-mail addresses and office telephone numbers through which the editor contacts them to confirm their authenticity. When there is doubt on the authenticity of a letter-writer because of his impassioned writing on a controversial issue, and especially when it vilifies somebody, editors require the writer to submit proof of his identity, such as a driver’s license.

Such procedures, however, have not been the practice in the Philippine press, a weakness which Mr. Aquino’s black propagandists have exploited to the hilt.

However, the Internet has given editors and media managers a very accessible tool for detecting astroturfing and fake letters to the editor: search engines. Because the Internet since the 1990s has become an immense depository of information generated, most of the educated population leave some trace in cyberspace. Try it yourself. Google your full name. You will get so many results.

Google a fictitious name, or fake e-mail addresses, and you will get zero or scanty results.

There are of course authentic letter writers, and the Google tool indeed filters the authentic writer from the bogus

However, “authors” of most of the letters viciously maligning Corona and myself have no record at all in cyberspace, a major indication that these are aliases.

The color yellow is quite appropriate for Aquino’s propagandists who hide behind pseudonyms when attacking those they dare not cross. A “Norman Yanus” in a letter blasted Sen. Miriam Santiago and the Iglesia ni Cristo for allegedly supporting Corona. A Google search shows no “Norman Yanus” existing anywhere in the world.

Messages were e-mailed to the addresses which these bogus writers gave this paper. Either there were no replies at all, or the cyber postmaster replied that the e-mail address was “disabled.”

Never before has any administration undertaken such organized, unethical campaign to subvert the press and even democracy itself, through sham letters to the editors, a most crooked PR tactic. So much for tuwid na daan ethics."

Tiglao shared this information after the surfacing of Jover Laurio, the anti-Duterte blogger who recently revealed her true identity after attacking the administration behind anonimity, and got support from opposition leaders.

"She appears to be close to Yellow leaders Mar Roxas, Vice President Leni Robredo, and the former president’s mouthpiece Edwin Lacierda. When Laurio admitted her identity in their tactic now to portray her as the victim of cyber-bullying, the Yellows have rushed to her defense," he said.

"Aquino’s former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay pointed out that Laurio uses “magical instruments that meld logic and emotion.” Hilbay is revealing his moral standards if he declares it magic for Laurio to be claiming that the President is “drugged in Fentanyl,” that our columnist is a prostitute, or that the Public Attorney is stupid," he added.

Tiglao said that Laurio's posts are nothingbut downright vulgar and thet he has no doubt whatsoever that the Yellow’s propaganda men are behind it

He said that the consistency is revealing: Laurio’s website hits everyone outside the Yellow camp, and paints everyone in it as saints.

Source: manilatimes.net

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Tiglao: years ago, yellows invented anonymous detractors like Laurio Tiglao: years ago, yellows invented anonymous detractors like Laurio Reviewed by FN Correspondent on 16 October Rating: 5

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