Recently I sat back and watched while one of our former hecklers got a dose of her own medicine. I felt validated that I had proven again that the best defence against our detractors is patience and the discipline to allow them the time and space to dig their own graves. I always knew that those who accuse us of being Marcos paid hacks were going to regret they ever made those accusations. The fact that they couldn’t provide proof, but still insisted in what they believe about us says a lot about them – they are irrational and desperate.
Having said that, it is never a good thing to get bashed on social media. Being a regular recipient of hate messages, I wouldn’t wish it on others. I have too much empathy that I even feel sorry for bullies who get bullied online. Once cornered, a bully just looks like a loser. But on the other hand, there are some bullies who can turn things around by playing the victim card. Those bullies do not get any sympathy from me. One would think that a bully getting a taste of her own medicine would somehow feel remorseful and apologise for what she had done to others, but it is quite the opposite. Some have a talent for turning things around and getting support from others who do not know the full history of their abusive behaviour. In other words, some bullies behave like sociopaths and do not feel sorry for their victims.
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Bullies are actually insecure people deep inside. They simply mask their insecurities by acting tough. They enjoy putting people down and harassing them because they are trying to prove that they are better than others. They get a kick out of making fun of others because they are bitter about their own circumstances.
The once anonymous blogger Jover Laurio was forced to admit she is the blogger behind anti-Duterte site Pinoy Ako Blog. She said she had no choice but to come out because she feared for her life after blogger RJ Nieto (a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy) identified her as the blogger behind vile posts directed at politicians and pro-Duterte bloggers. I don’t know what her basis for fearing for her life was because now that she is out, she has been enjoying the limelight. Members of mainstream media allied with the Opposition have been giving her air time interviewing her and giving her opportunity to say that she is the victim of cyber bullying by Duterte supporters: never mind that, when she was still anonymous, she did not hesitate to post hateful stuff against others.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) surprisingly gave Laurio exclusive air time immediately after her outing. One wonders how in the world a blogger from the Philippines got the attention of the international media. I didn’t even know Pinoy Ako Blog existed until it got in trouble with seven senators that the site maligned a couple of weeks ago, but I did know of Laurio because she actively pursued us before. One can be forgiven for thinking that a member of local mainstream media contacted the foreign news agency and gave them a one-sided version of the issue because the British journalist was only concerned about her and not her victims. The journalist should have interviewed one of her victims as well to get both sides. It’s not fair that they only got Laurio’s side. Laurio went on to claim that she is being silenced because she was critical of the Duterte administration. Suffice to say Laurio is getting a lot of support from the Opposition and she is enjoying her fifteen minutes of fame.
Some members of the academic community from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of the Philippines even hailed Laurio a “hero” for being “brave” enough to speak out against what they call a “tyrannical” government. They made her a special guest in their forums, never mind that critics like Laurio have been abusing their freedom of speech by spreading lies and maligning others who don’t agree with her views. I and other writers of Get Real Post were also subjected to her style of bullying back in 2016. We did not complain nor retaliate when she did it to us. In fact, we ignored her because we didn’t want to give her the attention she craved for. I had to block her on Twitter for being so unpleasant.Laurio was likely upset about her idol Mar Roxas losing the 2016 Presidential election and blamed us for being critical of the Liberal Party. She threatened to reveal private information about us in an attempt to stop us from posting stuff against her idols. She accused us of being Marcos paid hacks or “bayaran”. She did not provide proof though. She just kept telling us she knew a lot about us, as if that even makes a difference as far as our views on and arguments against the Liberal Party. Laurio could not even produce a photo of us with any of the Marcoses, but for people like her, just being a Liberal Party critic already makes us Marcos supporters. Meanwhile, she proudly displays her photo with all the Liberal Party bigwigs as proof that she is a rabid supporter. Being partisan does not make her objective.
Now that Laurio’s identity has been outed, a lot of people are watching and waiting if she will have the same “courage” to malign others the way she used to when she was anonymous. It’s actually surprising why she chose to be anonymous considering she had a problem with other anonymous bloggers before. She also made it look like she was very concerned about her privacy, but all her personal photos were publicly available including the ones of her in a revealing two-piece beach outfit.
Laurio focused her attention on being a rabid anti-Duterte blogger and also targeted other pro-Duterte bloggers through Pinoy Ako Blog. She nitpicked on small issues, but ignored the faux pas and incompetence of members of the Liberal Party like Vice President Leni Robredo. During a televised interview, she justified calling pro-Duterte supporter and Manila Times columnist Professor Antonio Contreras “vulgar” or balahura because he was critical of Robredo. Meaning, in her mind, she was just coming to Robredo’s rescue. She also called another pro-Duterte supporter Sass Sasot a prostitute. For Laurio, people who don’t share her views are fair game. Sasot will be filing a libel case against Laurio soon as reported in the news. Senator Tito Sotto is also investigating the bloggers behind those who accused him of being a rapist. It remains to be seen if she is one of those who will have to answer to the senator.
It’s baffling why folks from elite schools like the ADMU and UP are defending Laurio. For one thing, they are usually pedantic about grammar and form. Now they give Laurio’s posts a pass just because she is critical of the Duterte government. Laurio’s posts don’t even have substance. Her work certainly won’t win any Nobel Peace Prizes any time soon. Senator Leila De Lima likewise compared Laurio to the founders of revolutionary newspaper La Solaridad whose writers were critical of the Spanish colonisers back in 1888. The founders must be rolling in their graves, cringing.
It seems Lauro is the Opposition’s only answer to counter pro-Duterte bloggers. They do not have anyone with enough gravitas to write quality articles against the Duterte government. Whatever happened to the products of Philippine elite schools? They don’t have the “courage” to write critical pieces I suppose. They leave it up to someone like Laurio to represent them. What a sad and sorry state members of the elite have become, indeed.
In life, things are not always what they seem.