Sotto: NBI closing in on 5 bloggers

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THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has identified five people allegedly involved in the “fake news” that maligned seven senators for their supposed refusal to support a Senate resolution denouncing extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd on Saturday said the NBI had submitted to him a report on the blog “Seven Deadly Sens,” which was posted by the handlers of “Silent No More” (SNM) blog and “Pinoy Ako Blog” (PAB).

The blog post claimed that Senators Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Richard Gordon, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Cynthia Villar, and Sotto had refused to sign Resolution 516, drafted by opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan, denouncing EJKs of suspected drug personalities.

“Meron na. Hina-hunting na sila. Kasi ang balita namin `yung isa nag abroad bigla (There is a report already. They are being hunted down. We learned that one of them suddenly went abroad),” Sotto said in an interview over dwIZ.

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“Duon mo makikita e, sign of guilt. Alam na nu’ng NBI. At meron na rin akong kaso na naka prepare (You can see that it is a sign of guilt. The NBI knows already. And I have prepared a case already),” he said.

He confirmed that the NBI was running after Cocoy Dayao, the supposed handler of SNM. He, however, declined to identify the four others. “Huwag na muna ‘yung iba (Let’s not identify the others yet).”

Dayao failed to attend on October 4 the Senate probe on fake news. Pacquiao and Villar wanted him to explain why he called them names in his post, which they said had damaged their reputation.

Sotto has yet to comment on the decision of Jover Laurio, the blogger behind PAB, to reveal her identity following alleged harassment from pro-Duterte blogger, Rey Joseph Nieto, who is behind the Thinking Pinoy blog.

Asked whether there were fellow senators involved in the attempt to defame them, Sotto said, “There’s no one at the moment.”

Villar had claimed to have obtained information that opposition Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino and Risa Hontiveros were “out to destroy” the majority bloc. Aquino and Hontiveros denied her allegation.

Sotto said the five bloggers receive “feeds” from certain groups to attack a particular person.

“Traceable naman lahat ‘yun e. Magaling `yung si Thinking Pinoy ha. Maraming natutunan ang NBI sa kanya (These can all be traced. Thinking Pinoy is quite good. The NBI was able to learn a lot from him),” he added.

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