Bakit hindi ako? Pro-Duterte blogger Sass Sasot berates BBC journo over Pinoy Ako Blog feature
Pro-Duterte blogger Sass Sasot caused a stir in the International Media Center today (Nov. 13) as she confronted a BBC journalist over the British news network’s interview with Jover Laurio, the person behind Pinoy Ako Blog.
“How is it possible that Jover Laurio, a very minor blog in the Philippines, was featured by the BBC in order to defend herself against the people who outed her identity, but not someone like me, whose mean social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her and who you have even interacted with on Facebook?” an extremely emotional Sasot asked BBC Southeast Asia correspondent Richard Head.
Laurio runs Pinoy Ako Blog which is often critical of Duterte. She was featured on the British network in October, after her identity as Pinoy Ako Blog was revealed.
Sasot pressed Head for answers as to why Laurio was featured on BBC, adding that international media only cover “one side” of the story as they only source news from Rappler, Inquirer and ABS-CBN.
“That’s not true,” Head replied to the Sasot’s accusations.
“If it’s not true, can you please explain to me why all of a sudden, a minor blogger like Jober Laurio was given this platform?” Sasot retorted as Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson watched on.
The pro-Duterte blogger later conceded that Head was probably not the right person to talk to about Laurio being featured on the BBC and not her.
“I think you’re not the right person to talk to here, because you are not the one who interviewed Jover Laurio. I don’t even think your team was involved in that interview,” she said.
The veteran British journalist asked Sasot if they can find another time to talk, to which the blogger agreed.
Sasot’s circular arguments against Head went on for several minutes, until the veteran journalist
“Can we find a time when we can engage and talk together?” asked Head.
“We can do that,” an audibly irate Sasot replied.
However, in another exchange, Sasot said she would not get in touch with Head.
“I won’t contact you in Facebook, if you want to talk to me, you contact me!” she angrily told the visibly calm reporter.
“BBC contacted Jover Laurio, right? Why can’t you contact me?” she added.
Even after this, Sasot continued to ask Head why the BBC “gave access” to Laurio.
“They can’t give access to BBC, it’s not how it works,” Head said.
“Jonathan, I wasn’t born yesterday,” Sasot replied
“Sorry, I worked for the BBC for 30 years, I actually do know how the organization works and you don’t,” said Head.