Sotto files cyber libel rap vs. Cocoy Dayao

MANILA — Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday filed a cyber libel complaint against Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao before the Pasay Prosecutor’s Office.

Dayao, a former consultant of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during the Aquino administration, is said to be behind the Silent No More PH blog aligned with the Liberal Party.

In his complaint, Sotto claimed Dayao violated Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 4 (c) 4 of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Sotto cited how an article entitled, “Malacanang Dogs in the Senate”, published in the Silent No More PH blog on Sept. 26, “imputed malicious acts and statements against several members of the Senate”.

The blog post called seven senators “Malacanang Dogs” for not signing a resolution authored by Senator Francis Pangilinan, urging the government to end killings.

These senators are Sotto, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senators Richard Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Sotto, as well as the other six senators, however, said that the resolution never reached them.

The same article also criticized each of the seven senators, including Sotto, and resulted in name-calling.
Sotto was called a “rapist, plagiarist, and bigot who called all single mothers as good-for-nothing but accidental whores”.

“Dayao’s accusations above were obvious knowledge that they were false or with reckless disregard of whether they were false or not. Dayao knew or should have known that I did not refuse to sign the resolution nor did I not support it,” Sotto said in his complaint.

Sotto stressed that the blog post clearly aimed to “incite outrage against the seven senators”.

He said that while Dayao has the right to express his opinion, “the means and manner” in which he exercised this right with impunity has transgressed into his right as a person.

“I am a Senator, a citizen of the Philippines and a person and I deem it my duty to file this case of libel against Dayao,” he added.

The Senate Majority Leader earlier expressed hope that his complaint against Dayao would “prosper”. Azer Parrocha and Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/