Jover Laurio, the user behind critical Facebook page Pinoy Ako Blog, won her data privacy violation case against blogger RJ Nieto or Thinking Pinoy.
The Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 132 in a March 31 decision found Nieto guilty of violating Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
The court ordered Nieto to pay Laurio P300,000 (P100,000 in nominal damages, P100,000 in moral damages, P100,000 in exemplary damages), as well as P50,000 in attorney’s fees.
Nieto has already filed a motion for reconsideration.
In 2017, Nieto, a supporter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, publicly exposed the identity of Laurio as the one running the then-anonymous page that criticized the Duterte administration.
Laurio said she got doxxed and received threats upon getting made, prompting her to resign from her job and take a leave of absence from school.
While Nieto argued that Laurio has a public profile with readily available information—and that he had a right to free speech—the court said it lacked merit, since Laurio wasn't using her real name in the anonymous blog anyway.
Nieto in one of his blog posts also attacked Laurio, according to the court decision, and he "seems instigating hatred against the plaintiff."
In a guesting over ANC, Laurio said though she felt relieved, especially that the case has been on for five years now, it still made her feel uncomfortable. She recalled having to transfer to another place with her mother, who was undergoing chemotherapy at the time, as several people were visiting her residence.
"Bumalik lahat ng trauma cause I remember those times na nakatingin ako laki sa likod ko, na feeling ko may mananakit sa akin," she said. "Finally, justice is there."