Faces of the news | Inquirer News

Faces of the news

/ 05:56 AM October 08, 2017

Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte

The erstwhile spokespersons of former President Benigno Aquino III came face to face with the administration bloggers they’ve been tangling with on social media on Wednesday’s Senate hearing on fake news. Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte, both lawyers, however, found themselves on the defensive when Sen. Cynthia Villar quizzed them on their role in the antiadministration blog #SilentNoMorePH that was critical of seven senators, including her, who did not sign the resolution condemning the killings of minors. In so many words, both denied owning the blog. “I have no idea; I have to look again at my FB,” Lacierda said when asked if he was a member of #SilentNoMorePH. Lacierda pointed to blogger Mark Lopez as the one who posted the accusation on his social media accounts. “We are not the owners. I’d like Mark Lopez to show proof because he accused us of being owners. That is a very categorical accusation,” Lacierda said. In response, Lopez tried to wiggle out by claiming he was merely asking a question in his post. “I did not categorically accuse those persons that they were the ones behind (the blog). I was just asking, too. It is not verified,” Lopez said. Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the committee on public information, reminded Lopez of the dangers of such “vague” questions. Valte, for her part, challenged Lopez to “produce unequivocal evidence” to prove his claims as to who were behind the blog. “You’re entitled to your own opinion but you cannot be entitled to your own facts,” she told Lopez. Both also denied hiring Edward “Cocoy” Dayao, the alleged administrator of the #SilentNoMorePH blog, during the Aquino administration. Dayao was a no-show at the Senate hearing.

Mocha Uson


Famous blogger and Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson found herself in a tight spot at the Senate on Wednesday after opposition senators grilled her for not getting their side before spreading her scathing posts about them. Uson was put on the spot after she was questioned about her supposed penchant for spreading fake news online. “With the many (critical) blog posts you made about us, was there ever an instance when you asked for our side? Yes or no, ma’am,” Sen. Bam Aquino asked Uson, who replied that she was just a blogger and not a journalist. When Aquino insisted that she answer “yes” or “no” whether she had sought their side, Uson refused to answer saying: “I have the right … what is it? I have the right against self-discrimi … self-incrimination. I’m sorry.” Then Uson said she was also “a victim of fake news” when TV networks reported that she had taken a selfie inside a Marawi mosque.


RJ Nieto

Blogger and government consultant Rey Joseph Nieto raised a lot of eyebrows as he stood his ground when he defended his behavior online and offline at the Senate hearing into fake news on Wednesday. “It is not a crime to hurt feelings,” Nieto said, defending his right to publish posts critical of opposition senators on his blog, Thinking Pinoy, although he is now a consultant of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). “I don’t want to work for the DFA. It’s just that the DFA needs me more than I need them,” he said, adding that he received only P12,000 as a DFA consultant. Senators Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV also criticized Nieto after he and a companion were photographed mugging outside the office of imprisoned Sen. Leila de Lima ang gleefully pointing to the “222” posted on the door, which indicated the number of days De Lima had been in jail. “That’s sick,” Trillanes said. But Nieto stood his ground, saying,:” “No, sir. We are happy that she is in jail.”

Marilou Danley

It remains a puzzle to Marilou Danley why her boyfriend, Stephen Paddock, stockpiled firearms at Mandalay Bay Hotel on Las Vegas Strip, and then strafed an outdoor concert with gunfire from a suite at the 32nd floor on Sunday night. The carnage left 58 people and Paddock dead; Paddock shot himself before the police could get to him. “It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” she said in a statement. Danley was on a holiday (in fact, he wired her $100,000 so she could buy her family a house in the Philippines) when the attack happened. Danley, a Filipino who became an Australian citizen, met Paddock in 1990. Their relationship lasted 25 years. She remembered him as a “kind, caring, quiet man.” She has returned to the United States where she told investigators she had no knowledge of Paddock’s attack plan. She said no but she told them she worried about Paddock’s mental stability.

Melchor Arthur Carandang

Suddenly, he found himself in the cross hair of President Duterte’s wrath. Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang claimed that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) had issued a report on Mr. Duterte’s alleged account deposits from 2006 to 2015 totaling more than P2 billion. Carandang, however, said that the AMLC had yet to furnish the Ombudsman a copy of its report. For this, Carandang, Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Rodolfo Elman and the fact-finding investigating team handling the complaint against Mr. Duterte are now facing a complaint in the Office of the President seeking their dismissal from office. “He has indulged in favoritism and tyrannically abused his power,” the complainants said. Sen. Franklin Drilon said the President could not exercise authority over the Ombudsman.

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