- Pro-Duterte blogger confronted BBC Southeast Asian correspondent over interview of gov’t critic
- He asked why Laurio was contacted while he wasn’t as he had more social media followers
- He accused BBC of preferential treatment, said Laurio was being protected by the LP
MANILA, Philippines – A known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte confronted a reporter of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over his network’s supposed preferential treatment of Jover Laurio, the owner of Pinoy Ako Blog.
During their encounter at the International Media Center (IMC) in Pasay City, a visibly agitated Sass Sasot asked BBC Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head why they decided to interview Laurio but not him given that he had a higher following on social media.
“Tell me, Mr. Jonathan, how is it possible that Jover Laurio, a very minor blogger 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 social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her, and who you have even interacted on Facebook?” Sasot asked.
Sasot, who was accompanied by Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, then argued that the Liberal Party protected Laurio and served as her link to BBC.
“I know that in order for you to be interviewed by a big platform like BBC, you should have been given access. It’s either that you were really, really famous, that you are a decision-maker of a country, you are a celebrity, and you’re gonna be given this platform. But Jover Laurio is none of that. The only link to that is that she is being protected, sponsored, financed probably by the Liberal Party of the Philippines,” he said.
For his part, Head kept his cool and said no group had contacted them to interview Laurio.
“They can’t give access to BBC, that’s now how it works,” he said.
The tense encounter ended after both bade each other goodbye — but not without first exchanging schedules.
Video of confrontation: