January 4, 2019

#PABoost: There's another fishy thing about this anti-admin blogger's page financials

With the financial manager of the former presidential sister gone, who's funding Pinoy Ako Blog's active sponsored posts today?

I think this issue is especially relevant today. 

Since Pres. Rody Duterte assumed office in 2016, opposition figures, such as Rappler, have accused administration-aligned blogs such as MOCHA USON BLOGFor the Motherland - Sass Rogando SasotThinking Pinoy, of receiving financial support from administration personalities.

To this day, these accusations are still bereft of any tangible evidence, accusations that the blogs' respective owners categorically deny.

The irony? Evidence shows that at least one opposition blog -- Pinoy Ako Blog -- is guilty of what the opposition accuses the three bloggers listed above.


The vehemently anti-administration Pinoy Ako Blog page owner Jover Laurio reportedly admitted to having accepted financial support through Nicko Falcis who, at the time, was Kris Aquino's financial manager.

This is after the release of the controversial 2018 chat screenshots, with one having taken place in April 2018 (see image) and showing that Laurio requested Falcis to boost her posts, i.e. pay for her blog's sponsored posts, to which Falcis agreed.


As Sass Rogando Sasot pointed out, it would've been illogical for Falcis to have use his personal funds because he has a brother who also has an anti-administration blog with a following, reach, and engagement comparable to Laurio's.

That is, if Falcis were to support an anti-administration blogger, he must've supported his own brother and not Laurio. Moreover, in as far as this writer can recall, his brother's blog never ran sponsored posts.

These circumstances suggest that Kris Aquino herself -- Falcis' employer at the time -- is funding Laurio's sponsored posts, with Falcis as an intermediary.

Unfortunately, Falcis and Aquino parted ways at around June 2018.


Despite the loss of the supposed intermediary, a quick look at the "Info and Ads" section of Pinoy Ako Blog page shows that it still running sponsored posts as of 11:00 PM GMT+8, 03 January 2019 [http://archive.fo/8Gp0I], or about half a year since Falcis left Aquino.

In an attempt at greater transparency, Facebook recently added the "Info and Ads" section to pages to allow users to check what ads a given page is running.

With that said, who's paying for her sponsored posts today?

There two initial possibilities: [1] Laurio herself, or [2] Somebody else.


Laurio maintains her claims [1] that's she's the sole blogger behind the page and [2] that she's of meager financial standing, so it can't be Laurio herself, i.e. it must be somebody else.

Laurio could not crowdfund her sponsored posts, considering that [1] her blog site has no tip jar (e.g. a PayPal Philippines donation link) and [2] she still has no third-party funding (e.g. Patreon).

She does run Google Ads on her website, but she chose to display only one small 320x100 pixel banner that, from this writer's own experience, likely earns no more than $0.15 per 1000 hits.

Her website has an average of 300,000 monthly hits (and dropping), based on her SimilarWeb stats over the past 6 months [http://bit.ly/2QiBHvj], so that her monthly Google AdSense revenues should be no more than $45 or about Php 2,400. She's currently running 3 sponsored posts and judging from her reportedly suggested Php 3,000 budget per post, this must cost around P9,000.

Laurio blogs about current events so the posts have a very short shelf life, so that P3,000 budget per post cannot be spread over an extended period, i.e. she must burn the amount (P9,000 for 3 posts) in less than 1 month.

In short, Ad revenues are not enough to fund her paid posts.

Suffice it to say, evidence suggests that she must have one or more financiers.


I see three possibilities here that can be explored:

[1] Kris Aquino may be supporting the blog, possibly through a new intermediary, i.e. somebody other than Falcis

[2] Cocoy Dayao, the Noynoy Aquino-era Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines) consultant and the web administrator of a plethora of anti-administration websites today, which includes Laurio's Pinoy Ako Blog (and Kiko Pangilinan's official website) [http://bit.ly/CocoyGate]...
...but Cocoy has no personal motive to do this, i.e. Cocoy Dayao sources funds from an political benefactor.  
[3] Other opposition personalities. This doesn't discount the possibility that they may have been supporting Pinoy Ako Blog even before Falcis left Aquino.

All these three possibilities point to one thing: that Laurio receives financial benefits from opposition-aligned political personalities, which is exactly what the opposition has been accusing pro-administration bloggers of receiving. 

Laurio reportedly denies having received cash from any political personality. However, the fact that she never took the initiative to disclose sources of her funding (READ: Political Personalities), only to admit one source after she got caught red-handed, casts a significant doubt on her credibility.

Laurio ever so proudly claims that she blogs "para sa bayan (for the nation)", but she appears to be blogging for more than just that. 

But here's the more important question: 

Aside from Laurio, who among the other opposition-aligned bloggers receive financial support from opposition politicians?

That would be very interesting to know.