Former Palace communications officials on Wednesday rejected claims they owned the “Silent No More PH” blog, which was recently criticized by majority senators for calling them “Malacañang dogs.”
During the Senate public information hearing on fake news, Senator Cynthia Villar said “research” provided to her office named Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao as the “operator” of the blog.
She said the research also named a certain Melissa Limcauco, former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, and Leah Navarro as those behind the blog.
“It was mailed to me. I never interfere with these bloggers because I’m not into it. It was just sent to me,” Villar said.
Both Lacierda and Valte, who were present during the hearing, denied the allegations. Lacierda and Valte worked in Malacañang during the Aquino administration.
According to Lacierda, blogger Mark Lopez made the accusation on his social media account. Lopez was also present at the hearing.
“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.
Valte, for her part, said she never hired Dayao “directly or indirectly” during her stint in Malacañang. She said she knew Dayao from 2009 when the latter volunteered during the presidential campaign of then Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Lopez said he was merely asking a question on his social media post.
“It was in a form of a question. I did not say it,” Lopez argued.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the committee, said there are dangers in posting such statements. “Yun ang nakakatakot. It’s not verified but the question is very vague,” Poe said.
Last week, several senators from the majority bloc cried foul for being targeted by “Silent No More PH” when it was supposedly made to appear that they purposely did not sign the Senate resolution urging the Duterte administration to address the spate of senseless killings, especially of children.
The seven senators who did not sign the resolution are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto, Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar, and Miguel Zubiri.
Dayao was a no-show at the Senate hearing on fake news despite being invited by the committee.
Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate panel, said Dayao might be subpoenad if there would be a next hearing on the issue. “It’s so ironic that [he runs] Silent No More but he’s so silent now,” Poe said