April 26, 2019

Here's the complete step-by-step guide to uncovering Metro Balita's owner

Two Manila Times columnists – former ambassador Rigoberto “Bobi” Tiglao and Maastricht University lecturer Sass Rogando Sasot – have written about this, but I like having all bases covered, so here we go.

In early April 2019, a series of videos with the common title “Ang Totoong Narco List” (Translation: The Real Narco List”, now more popularly known as the “Bikoy Videos” circulated online.

The videos, through an anonymous informant with alias “Bikoy”, allege that members of the Duterte presidential family received massive drug payolas, including President Rodrigo Duterte’s son Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, son-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio, and 14-year-old daughter Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, a minor.In her ABS-CBN News column, Facebook fact-checker Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files said the videos were “riveting” and, along with the annotations, “look professionally done.”

It appears, however, that Tordesillas’s standards for professional video creation are skin-deep.

A look at the payola documents featured in the Bikoy videos show that these are just a bad a case of photoshop, as shown below [http://bit.ly/2UHwCig]:

Aside from the excellent lighting and choice of text overlays, the video itself is amateurish at best, as the supposed payola payout lists, which the entire video series relies upon for credibility, are just fake documents.

Potential Court Cases

Libel punishable under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code is obvious, but given the videos’ online nature, parties can sue for Cyber Libel punishable under Section 4 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act (RA 10175).

Sasot also called for an RPC Article 154 test case in her 25 April 2019 Manila Times column “Who is behind Metro Balita?”.

I believe Sasot is justified as Bikoy Videos attempted to implicate no less the presidential family, whose integrity (or the perception of it) may be considered a national security concern. That is, parties may also sue for unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances punishable under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 10951.

Aside from these, Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, being a minor, may also sue for violence against children punishable under Section 5(i) the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (RA 9262), which forbids “causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to… [a] child.”

I don't know for certain which one of these should be filed: that's a problem for the Duterte's.

I am more interested in who's behind the Bikoy Videos.

Tiglao gives a lead

In his 22 April 2019 Manila Times column ” Vile video vs Duterte the work of Otso Diretso, Trillanes’ writer and US-funded websites”, Amb. Bobi Tiglao wrote:
“…cyber-crime experts found the “Bikoy” video to have been first uploaded to YouTube by a website www.metrobalita.net.”
Metrobalita.net was taken down by its owner as soon as Tiglao’s column came out.

What’s clear, however, is that Tiglao showed that the person/s behind the Bikoy Videos and the one/s behind MetroBalita are the same.

Tracing Google AdSense Publisher IDs

Tracing ownership of Google AdSense accounts, called a “Reverse AdSense Lookup”, is an effective way to unmask people, as was shown in the 29 September 2017 ThinkingPinoy article “#CocoyGate: Senator Sotto, here's the guy you're looking for”. The article revealed the identity of the web administrator of SilentNoMorePH, the site that published libelous statements against several sitting senators.

The process is fairly simple:
1. Extract the unique Google AdSense Publisher ID of a given site.
2. Cross-reference to other websites that run online ads from the same Publisher ID.
3. Check who owns those other websites.

Step 1: extract ID from MetroBalita.net

Through an online third-party utility, Sasot was able to extract MetroBalita.Net’s Publisher ID, which is:
I did an independent verification using DNSlytics Reverse AdSense Lookup and the results corroborate Sasot’s findings, as shown below:

Step 2: Check for other sites using the same Google Publisher ID

Using the online third-party utility SpyOnWeb [A], I found that Google AdSense Publisher ID on MetroBalita.net is identical to the one used in MetroBalita.com, as shown below:

That is, whoever owns MetroBalita.Net and MetroBalita.Com must be the same person.

Step 3: Check for domain registry information

I did a quick WhoIs lookup on MetroBalita.net and MetroBalita.com. As expected, both use a domain privacy service so the site owner’s real name is undisclosed.

However, a deeper WhoIs history lookup using DomainTools shows that MetroBalita.com’s owner publicly released his personal details when he initially registered MetroBalita.com in 14 May 2017, as shown in the following screenshot:

Transcribed below are some relevant parts of the screenshot:
Domain Name: metrobalita.com
Registry Domain ID: 2124155050_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.1and1.com
Registrar URL: http://1and1.com
Updated Date: 2017-05-14T07:52:08.000Z
Creation Date: 2017-05-14T07:52:01.000Z
Registrant Name: Rodel Jayme
Registrant Street: 24 Moonbeam Street Bricktown Subdivision
Registrant Street: Barangay Moonwalk
Registrant City: Parañaque
Registrant State/Province: RIZ
Registrant Postal Code: 1709
Registrant Country: PH
Registrant Phone: +63.9434104882
Registrant Email: metrobalita.ph@gmail.com
Admin Name: Rodel Jayme
Admin Street: 24 Moonbeam Street Bricktown Subdivision
Admin Street: Barangay Moonwalk
Admin City: Parañaque
Admin State/Province: RIZ
Admin Postal Code: 1709
Admin Country: PH
Admin Phone: +63.9434104882
Admin Email: metrobalita.ph@gmail.com
This is further corroborated by another online third-party tool Whoxy:

It is also worthy to note that MetroBalita’s twitter account lists “metrobalita.com” as its official website:

Note that Metro Balita's twitter has been operating with metrobalita.net since the beginning of April 2019, as evidenced by a 21 April 2019 denial tweet:

Note that the same tweet is an admission that MetroBalita uploaded the Bikoy Videos, at least using the online assets that MetroBalita owns or controls.

Yes, all evidence points to a certain Rodel Jayme.

Who is Rodel Jayme?

A quick google search of “Rodel Jayme” leads us to the blog site “jrodel0991.wordpress.com” whose about page states that his twitter account is http://www.twitter.com/jrodel.

According to his Twitter Bio:
Rodel Jayme
Blogger, Gamer, License Amateur Radio Operator (DY1VDA) Discord: JRodel0991#1410 / Steam: jrodel / Twitch: jrodel0991
Judging from his tweets,  Jayme is a staunch Liberal Party supporter and a staunch Duterte critic.

Judging from his tweets, Jayme is a staunch LP supporter, as he has attended several Liberal Party events in the past.

A 28 June 2017 tweet shows he was attended Vice-president Leni Robredo’s #IstoryaNgPagAsa social media launch in 28 Jun 2017. An 02 July 2016 tweet shows he’s also a member of the Liberal Party-aligned Democratic Warriors FB Group.

Aside from these, I also archived his tweets featuring other Liberal Party Personalities including one with Aquino Education Sec. Armin Luistro, another with Aquino Social Welfare Sec. Dinky Soliman, and another with Aquino Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya.

In another tweet, he also actively campaigned for Mar Roxas during the latter’s failed 2016 presidential bid:

Interestingly, another tweet suggests that Jayme is also acquainted with a certain Erlo Bornales of Mamamayang Alyansang Reporma (MAR):

MAR was featured in the 08 March 2016 ThinkingPinoy article “Roxas has his own Internet Army?”. In that article, it was shown that the group has been training its members as part of an online social media army:

Jayme, through Metro Balita, has been actively campaigning for VP Leni Robredo legal counsel and Liberal Party senatorial bet Romulo Macalintal. It's funny that Metro Balita tweets mostly about relatively unremarkable Macalintal, suggesting that there may be a link between the two.

Flight as a sign of guilt

Based on publicly available and independently verifiable online data, it’s clear that Rodel Jayme owns MetroBalita.net.

If juxtaposed to Tiglao’s findings, then Rodel Jayme must have uploaded the Bikoy videos to YouTube, though it’s still unclear to me how the said cybercrime experts managed to link MetroBalita with the Ang Totoong Narco List youtube account.

In People v Tecson (G.R. No. 194234):
“Jurisprudence has repeatedly declared that flight is an indication of guilt. The flight of an accused, in the absence of a credible explanation, would be a circumstance from which an inference of guilt may be established ‘for a truly innocent person would normally grasp the first available opportunity to defend himself and to assert his innocence’.”
Well, it appears that Jayme is actively deleting posts related to the Bikoy Videos. He has taken down the MetroBalita website (both .com and .net), Metrobalita’s facebook video uploads, and other related posts.

Jayme may not be running away from authorities right now, but he sure did allow the evidence to fly away first (RJ Nieto/ThinkingPinoy).


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