MANILA — A blogger on Wednesday said that a former consultant for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during the Aquino administration operates the controversial Silent No More (SNM) PH blog.
Silent No More PH, a blog that has been described in reports as aligned with the Liberal Party, is the same site that published an article calling seven senators “Malacanang Dogs” for not signing a resolution urging the government to end the killings of minors.
Blogger RJ Nieto, who runs the Thinking Pinoy blog, claimed during a Senate hearing on fake news, that the person behind the SNM blog is former PCOO web security consultant Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao.
Dayao was a no-show in the Senate hearing despite being invited by the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chaired by Senator Grace Poe.
Nieto, who admitted being “aligned” with the Duterte administration, first made the expose in a blog post ”#CocoyGate: Senator Sotto, here’s the guy you’re looking for” published on September 29.
According to Nieto, Dayao also run at least 20 other websites which were mostly anti-Duterte and previously worked as political communications head for Senators Francis Pangilinan and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.
Nieto said he Is willing to give the Senate committee a list of information about Dayao and other people who ran the SNM site which was freely available online but sought to name them in an executive session.
“I’m willing to provide information if you’re going to give me blanket immunity because I don’t want to be held liable for the information that may be disclosed,” Nieto told the committee.
Nieto, meanwhile, appealed the Senate to craft legislation on the right to reply.
“Ang gusto ko lang iplaglaban i-legislate natin ang right of reply (I just want to fight for the right of reply),” Nieto said.
Poe said that the committee would take Nieto’s suggestion into consideration.
Meanwhile, former Presidential spokesperson and deputy spokesperson during the Aquino administration, lawyers Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte, respectively, denied ever having hired Dayao to work for them at the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS).
“The OPS has never hired Cocoy Dayao,” Lacierda said pointing out that the OPS is a separate agency from the PCOO which was then run by Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Lacierda also denied that he was behind the Malacanang Dogs article but could not remember if he joined the SNM group on social media. Valte said that she did not contribute or own the blog. (PNA)