MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday filed cyberlibel charges against blogger Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao at the Pasay City prosecutor’s office over an online post that called him a rapist, plagiarist and bigot in the blog site “Silent No More” that Dayao allegedly administers.
In his complaint, Sotto said integrity is one of his prized possessions. He said he had tolerated criticism of his work as a senator knowing this is part of the job, but that he needed to draw the line when it comes to personal attacks.
The complaint detailed how the National Bureau of Investigation, whose help Sotto had sought after the post was made, had tracked down and determined that Dayao is listed as owner of at least 22 blog sites — being registrant of these sites that bore the same secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate as silentnomore.ph
Dayao is accused of violating Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to the cybercrime law.
The alleged slurs were posted as part of a barrage of online attacks against Sotto and six other Majority senators that grew out of their supposed “non-support” for a resolution denouncing the extra-judicial killings of teenagers in drug cases.
The Majority senators said they were never approached by the resolution author, Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, and thus did not have the chance to endorse it, but were unfairly maligned as a result.
The Sotto complaint asserted that whille Dayao may freely express his views as part of his constitutional freedoms, it cannot be done at the expense of the rights of others, or in violation of laws that proscribe libel, among others.
Dayao had been summoned to, but had snubbed, an earlier hearing on “fake news” called by the Committee on Public Information chaired by Sen. Grace Poe.
His whereabouts are unknown since he was outed by some bloggers as the administrator of the “Silent No More” blog.