Pinoy Ako Blog started as an anonymous blog critical of the Duterte administration. Much has been said about it, particularly by the administration’s most die-hard supporters. The blog also has a significant following, particularly among those who have expressed their displeasure over the incumbent administration. Such is the political reality du jour.
The blog’s catchphrase was always “Resibo!” or receipts, proof, something solid to back up what the blog was about for that particular upload. It could be a screenshot, or a verified link that readers could viewfor themselves.
The resibo is what proves the veracity of her statements. This, blogger and new book author Jover Laurio said, is vital for distinguishing her blog from other web sites where “fake news” items are spread.
Laurio’s identity was exposed by bloggers and social media users supporting the administration. Her name, address, place of business, and, even, the school where she was a law student, were all revealed as trolls attacked her blog. Soon, some of her pro-administration readers grew hostile to her, too. Her inbox filled with hate messages. She had to stop school, citing safety reasons. Her life had been turned upside down. Not too long following her outing to the public, Graphic did an interview with Laurio.
This writer chose a relatively obscure restaurant and closed off an entire section of it to be able to interview her privately.
Laurio, a petite woman, was clad in jeans, a hoodie and sensible shoes. She looked like a college student and spoke with an endearing baby girl voice. She looked as if she couldn’t harm a fly. She was calm, even zen, amid the media frenzy. In just a little over a month after we met, the book came out: ”Resibo” My mother Maria Loida Pirante-Pérez, uncle Mike Doria, and I drove to the book launch at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.
That launch was attended by many opposition supporters, particularly from the Liberal Party, including former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay. Actors Agot Isidro, Bart Guingona, Pinky Amador were also there, with writer Susan Severino Lara and interior designer Tito Villanueva. Laurio posed for photographs with supporters and signed copies of her book.
They also announced Laurio’s inclusion in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s list of Filipinos of the Year.
During the launch, she spoke of how she is harassed and threatened on a daily basis by social media bashers and trolls. She said she lets it slide, for the most part, that while she doesn’t let it get to her, she keeps assuring her followers and herself that no matter how afraid she is of this administration, her love of this country is stronger.
The book, which is made up of the top 100 of her 850 or so blog entries, is divided into three chapters: “Mga Liham sa Presidente (Letters to the President), “Mga Liham Laban sa Fake News at Tiwaling Opisyal” (Letters Against Fake News and Corrupt Politicians) and “Mga Liham ng Pasasalamat, Pagpapuri at Iba Pa.” (Letters of Gratitude, Praise, Among Others). As we drove back to Glorietta just in time for dinner, I opened the book and started reading.
Most of the entries were familiar, since I started reading her blog prior to interviewing her so I could get a feel for who she is and what she stands for.
The “Resibo” culture emphasizes the need for evidence or receipts to avoid being branded as a purveyor of fake news. While Laurio’s command of the English language isn’t perfect, her voice is that of a concerned citizen calling people out and showing them receipts to back up her claim.
Love or hate her, it’s a book that one cannot easily put down.