October 8, 2017

#CocoyGate: Cocoy's Missing? Hey NBI Cybercrime, here’s another name


THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN IN COLLABORATION WITH SASS ROGANDO SASOT. FEATURE IMAGE CREDITS GO TO VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS PHILIPPINES (VOVPH).


It’s been several days since I published “#CocoyGate: Senator Sotto, here’s the guy you’re looking for”. In that article, I explained that a certain Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao, who claims to be a former PCOO consultant in his own LinkedIn profile, is deeply connected to the fake news website SilentNoMorePh.com that libeled the seven senators not too long ago.

To shed light on the matter, the senate invited Dayao and I to the 04 October 2017 senate hearing on fake news. A senate source informed me the day before that Dayao will be attending, but I was sorely disappointed after discovering that he was a no-show. And as expected, it was I who was put on the hot seat, as oppositionist Liberal Party senators grilled me one after another, as if I was the accused and not Dayao.

And you know what happened then.

But is Cocoy the only possible suspect?


Note: Please forgive me for typos. I don't have an editor and I'm really tired right now. 

#NasaanSiCocoy (#WhereIsCocoy)

Senate Public Information Committee chair Senator Grace Poe said she would’ve wished to conclude the hearings right then and there, but she instead decided to suspend it because Cocoy Dayao has to be found and interrogated first. After all, Cocoy Dayao’s the central figure in this issue and no one else.

Because of his non-appearance despite the senate’s invitation, the Senate has subpoenaed Cocoy Dayao to force him to appear in the next hearing.

Three days after that fateful Wednesday hearing, I asked my senate sources if there’s any progress towards finding Cocoy, and they told me that they haven’t found a trace. Flight is a sign of guilt, but whatever.

Cocoy is missing, and that’s a problem.

What we know so far

Suffice it to say, Dayao is key to solving the mystery, and that key is MISSING. If Dayao somehow pops up from nowhere in the near future, then all’s well. But if he doesn’t, then the quest of the seven senators for who’s behind the “Seven Deadly Sens” campaign will grind to a halt.

Now, the problem with the first #CocoyGate article is that Sass, VovPH, and I found only ONE person connected with SilentNoMore, and that is Cocoy Dayao.
A succeeding article, “#CocoyGate: Senator Villar, let me link Cocoy to Bam and Kiko”, cites another name – Niña Terol-Zialcita – as another potential suspect, but aside from Terol-Zialcita’s involved in ProPinoy as its Deputy editor-in-chief and co-founder, there is no evidence showing that she has any significant web development skills, so for now, I’m willing to set her aside.

In short, if Dayao remains missing, then we’re at a dead end. And in times like these, what I typically do is sit in a corner, go back to basics, and retrace the steps.

So let’s do that.

Back to Basics

First, the kerfuffle in the Senate started from the seven senators’ complaint about SilentNoMorePH’s 26 September 2017 post accompanied by an article entitled “Malacanang Dogs in the Senate: Pimentel, Sotto, Gordon, Villar, Zubiri, Honasan, Pacquiao”. It was then followed by another blog post entitled “Labanan ang #7DeadlySens!!!”, a pun on the “7 Deadly Sins”.

Second, we know from “#CocoyGate: Senator Sotto, here’s the guy you’re looking for” that:
  1. Google advertisements served in SilentNoMorePH, ProPinoy, Madam Claudia, ThinkingMillenials, PulisPatola, BackroomPolitics, and WeSupportBamAquino originate from the same Google Adsense Account with publisher ID “pub-8283971809912134”.
  2. Cocoy Dayao is a founder and Editor-in-chief of one ProPinoy.
  3. A single Google Adsense Publisher ID (pub-1068157602481996) also owns or controls over 20 other sites, including, but not necessarily limited to, ChangeScamming, BackroomPolitics, Politikang Ina Mo, and Pinoy Ako Blog.
  4. Cocoy Dayao is the registered administrator contact of Pinoy Ako Blog.
It’s clear, at this point, that the collective wrath of the seven senators is focused on SilentNoMorePH.

But is it just SilentNoMore?


Pinoy Ako Blog

In “Labanan ang #7DeadlySens!!!”, SilentNoMorePH paired each senator to a specific “deadly sin”, though it wasn’t specific as to which is paired to what. As if taking a cue from SilentNoMorePH, Pinoy Ako Blog expanded SilentNoMorePH’s the #7DeadlySens post by providing more libelous specificity.
Published a day after SilentNoMorePH’s post, Pinoy Ako Blog’s “The Unfortunate Seven” states:
“Ito ang mga senador na ayaw matigil ang pagpatay sa mga menor de edad na Pilipino. Iboboto mo pa ba sila? (These are the senators who do not want a stop to the killing of Filipino minors. Will you still vote for them?)"
Pinoy Ako Blog then showed a series of infographics that paired each senator with a specific deadly sin:
  1. Lust for Senator Sotto, calling him a “rapist, plagiarist, and bigot”. 
  2. Gluttony for Senator Villar, saying she’s “galit sa extra rice”.
  3. Greed for Senator Pacquiao, calling him a “tax evader”, a womanizer, and a former drug addict.
  4. Sloth for Senator Pimentel, saying he lacks balls and a disappointment to his father.
  5. Wrath for Senator Honasan, accusing him of stealing P30 million in pork barrel funds
  6. Envy for Senator Zubiri, accusing him of electoral cheating. 
  7. Pride for Senator Gordon, calling him a “perpetual political butterfly” and for whitewashing the Matobato-Lascañas senate investigations.
Now, why is this important?

SNM and PAB

The Senators are fuming at SilentNoMorePH, but they should be angrier at PinoyAkoBlog, for the simple reason that the latter did more damage to their reputation. And don’t forget that both are owned or controlled by the same Cocoy Dayao. That is, it’s likely that those behind PAB are also behind SilentNoMorePH.

But how exactly did PAB do more damage?
“Engagement per post (EPP)” is a social media analytics metric that measures a post’s “interestingness” to an audience. That is, higher EPP scores means a post spreads to more people [TP:Mainstream vs Indie].
EPP is defined by the following formula:
Engagement per Post = Engagement ÷ Number of Posts
A look at Facebook Page Insights data taken at 1713 hrs, 08 October 2017, shows that while SilentNoMore has higher absolute engagement figures compared to Pinoy Ako Blog, the latter posted only a small fraction of what the former did.

Facebook Page Insights data taken at 1713 hrs, 08 October 2017
From the data in the image and using the EPP formula, EPP for SilentNoMorePH is 1,270 while that for PinoyAkoBlog is 4,911. That is, PinoyAkoBlog’s libelous posts may have done about 3 times more damage to the seven senators’ reputation, compared to SilentNoMorePH’s posts.

And just like SilentNoMorePH, Cocoy Dayao owns or controls PinoyAkoBlog.

I have a reasonable suspicion that SilentNoMorePH and PinoyAkoBlog, owing to their similar content and talking points, and common webmasters, and possibly, a common financial beneficiary.

Now, recall that I myself said in during the #CocoyGate #SenateHearing that Cocoy, who has web development skills, may be working with a bunch of content creators because of the sheer number of sites that Cocoy controls.

So, let’s ask:
Who are the content creators behind SilentNoMorePH and PinoyAkoBlog?

Who are Cocoy’s Content Creators?

Of course, the content creators are anonymous, but there’s an easy way to find a few clues.

You see, SilentNoMorePH and PinoyAkoBlog both run on WordPress, which is probably the most popular content management system for websites on earth. And because WordPress is popular, a lot of people know how it works.

Now, adding the character string “/wp-json/wp/v2/users” to a WordPress-powered blog’s web address reveals the login IDs of the site’s users. Thus, let’s try checking the following:

  1. Silentnomoreph.com/wp-json/wp/v2/users
  2. Pinoyakoblog.com/wp-json/wp/v2/users

For SilentNoMorePH, here’s a video showing how I did it:

And for PinoyAkoBlog:


Let me list down the information I got.

For SilentNoMorePH, four users showed up. These are:
  1. User “Admin“, with display name “Charlie“
  2. User “Vic“, with display name “Vic“
  3. User “JD“, with display name “JD“
  4. User “Maria“, with display name “Maria“
For PinoyAkoBlog, five users showed up. These are:
  1. User “Admin-2“, with display name “admin“
  2. User “Kit“, with display name “Full Retard“
  3. User “Admin“, with display name “Mr. Pinoy“
  4. User “Jover“, with display name “Mr. Pinoy“
  5. User “Apple“, with display name “Mr. Pinoy“
And here’s where things get interesting.


Who are these people?

It is common for internet users to use their nickname for their online login ID’s, and I suspect that at least one among those login ID’s I found is a real nickname (or even the real first name) of the corresponding user.

Now, the nicknames “Vic”, “Maria”, “JD”, “Charlie”, “Apple”, and “Kit” are too generic, so I admit that my online forensic skills are not enough to find out who they are. However, the last remaining username, “Jover”, is interesting.

I think I can do something with it because Jover is a relatively rare first name.A simple google search using the search term “Jover PinoyAkoBlog” [A] shows a certain “Jover Laurio” diligently sharing PinoyAkoBlog’s posts on a public Facebook group “NETIZENS FOR CONSCIENCE AND BRAVERY (NetCAB)”



It’s interesting to note that Edwin Lacierda is also a NetCAB member.


IMPORTANT NOTE:
Laurio may delete her posts (and even her account) as soon as she finds out about this article, so I archived the pertinent pages using the third-party service Archive.is. That is, every hyperlink with the text “[A]” links to the archived snapshot of the hyperlinked page immediately preceding it.
For example, for the sentence “ThinkingPinoy wrote this article [A].”, the page linked to “[A]” is an archived copy of the page linking to “ThinkingPinoy”.

Enough with that. On with the analysis.


Jover Laurio on Facebook

Now it’s time check her NetCAB posts. Note that each of the following several images contain two screenshots: one when the mouse pointer hovers over Laurio’s post share timestamp, and another with mouse hovering over PinoyAkoBlog’s post timestamp.

1 — “Andanar: Nameke, Napahiya, Nabisto, Nagtago? | Pinoy Ako Blog”
Share Timestamp: 31 May 2017, 7:05 PM
PAB Timestamp: 31 May 2017, 7:02 PM



2 — “Accomplishment daw ni Calida | Pinoy Ako Blog
Share Timestamp: 08 June 2017, 8:08 PM
PAB Timestamp: 08 June 2017, 8:07 PM



3 — “Ganito Kamahal ang Kasinungalingan at Fake News | Pinoy Ako Blog
Share Timestamp: 10 June 2017, 9:54 PM
PAB Timestamp: 10 June 2017, 9:52 PM


4 — “Usec. Kat de Castro, kayo po ba ang nag-adjust? | Pinoy Ako Blog
Share Timestamp: 01 June 2017, 10:46 PM
PAB Timestamp: 01 June 2017, 10:44 PM


5 — “Walang Alam OR Ayaw lang Mapahiya? | Pinoy Ako Blog
Share Timestamp: 11 June 2017, 07:31 PM
PAB Timestamp: 11 June 2017, 07:30 PM


6 — “Secretary Aguirre: Abogado o Scriptwriter? | Pinoy Ako Blog”
Share Timestamp: 05 June 2017, 08:20 PM
PAB Timestamp: 05 June 2017, 08:16 PM




Let’s tabulate the time differences between PinoyAkoBlog’s posts and Laurio’s shares:

  • Post No. 1: ~3 minutes
  • Post No. 2: ~1 minute
  • Post No. 3: ~2 minutes
  • Post No. 4: ~2 minutes
  • Post No. 5: ~1 minute
  • Post No. 6: ~6 minutes


Here are some of Jover’s other shares:


As we can see, Laurio’s shared PinoyAkoBlog’s posts almost immediately after the latter posted them on Facebook. Now, is Jover just a rabid PinoyAkoBlog fan, or is she one of PinoyAkoBlog’s administrators?

At this point, it’s too early to tell. But we are not done yet. Let’s take a look at Jover’s tweets.

Jover Laurio’s Tweets

Jover goes by the twitter handle “MissJover” [A].

Now, let’s check some of her latest retweets of PinoyAkoBlog’s tweets.

1: 05.Oct.2017 | Retweet Timestamp: 3:09 PM | PAB Tweet Timestamp: 3:07 PM



2: 05.Oct.2017 | Retweet Timestamp: 4:31 PM | PAB Tweet Timestamp: 4:29 PM



3: 03.Sept.2017 | Retweet Timestamp: 10:50 PM | PAB Tweet Timestamp: 10:48 PM



4: 01.Sept.2017 | Retweet Timestamp: 8:01 PM | PAB Tweet Timestamp: 7:46 PM


5: 30.Aug.2017 | Retweet Timestamp: 6:16 PM | PAB Tweet Timestamp: 6:09 PM


Let’s tabulate the time differences between PinoyAkoBlog’s tweets and Laurio’s retweets:

  • Tweet No. 1: ~2 minutes
  • Tweet No. 2: ~2 minutes
  • Tweet No. 3: ~2 minutes
  • Tweet No. 4: ~15 minutes
  • Tweet No. 5: ~2 minute

Again, as we can see, Laurio retweeted PinoyAkoBlog’s tweets almost immediately after PAB tweets. And again, is Jover just a rabid fan, or is she one of PinoyAkoBlog’s administrators?

Seriously, Laurio's devotion to PinoyAkoBlog is tenacious, to say the least.


The Laurio-Dayao Connection

Looking further into Laurio’s tweets, Sass and I discovered that Laurio has been in contact with Dayao from way back, as evidenced by a 28 December 2015 tweet where Laurio basically “pep talked” Dayao, as shown below [A]:

Four months later on 04 April 2016, Laurio “pep talked” Dayao again, as show below [A]:


Interestingly, on 17 Jun 2016, or around the time Laurio was sharing PinoyAkoBlog’s posts on Facebook, Laurio even relayed Dayao’s web development advice to blogger Raissa Robles [A].


On 26 February 2016, one of Laurio’s “lawyer-friends” [A] gave her a brand new 64 GB Ipad Air. She’s so thankful for it that, in reply to Dayao’s congratulatory tweet, she even said:
“Thanks Coy! I feel so blessed! Ang mahal kaya nito, alam ni God na di ko kayang bumili on my own”

I think the previous exchanges are sufficient to show that Dayao and Laurio know each other better than simple online acquaintances. Dayao even uses Laurio's content for his facebook posts, as shown in a cached copy of Dayao's Facebook Note entitled "Warning: The next social media account Team Duterte steals could be yours", with a backlink to Laurio's Twitter account.

Yeah, they follow each other. They know each other well.

TP’s Takeaways

Let me sum this whole thing up.

First, let’s list down what we have discovered:

  1. While SilentNoMorePH is the focus of the #SenateHearing, it has to be pointed out that PinoyAkoBlog did more damage to the seven senators’ respective reputations.
  2. SilentNoMorePH and PinoyAkoBlog share the same web administrator, and that’s Cocoy Dayao.
  3. SilentNoMorePH’s and PinoyAkoBlog‘s respective libelous articles about the Senate Resolution 516 scandal share the same talking points.
  4. PinoyAkoBlog’s users include a certain person going by the username “Jover”.
  5. A little more sleuthing shows that Laurio shares and retweets PinoyAkoBlog’s posts almost immediate after PinoyAkoBlog’s administrators post them on Facebook or tweets them.
  6. Laurio knows Dayao, and their exchanges can be traced as far back sa December 2015.
  7. Judging by the quality of their exchanges, Laurio and Cocoy seem to be pretty emotionally close.
  8. Laurio even gets web development advice from Dayao.

Now, let me ask this one simple question:
How many persons with the first name “Jover” will you ever meet in your life?
More specifically:
How many Jovers can Cocoy possibly know personally?
Oh, before I forget: PinoyAkoBlog previously said Sass is an idiot because PAB's blogger is female.

Sounds just about right.

The preponderance of evidence suggests that NBI Cybercrime should contact Jover Laurio and ask her more than a few questions. Luckily, she published her entire name online on 28 February 2017 [A].



Her complete name is MARIA JOSEPHINA VERGINIA NATURAL LAURIO.


NBI Cybercrime, if you can’t find Cocoy, find her. 



Oh, and by the way, she studies at Lyceum Law [ThinkingPinoy].

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