Senator Francis Pangilinan on Friday filed cybercrime complaints against Google Philippines and two YouTube channel owners over multiple defamatory videos and fake news peddled against him and his family.
The lawmaker personally filed the complaints before the Department of Justice after YouTube failed to take down the malicious videos posted by the owners of “Starlet” and “Latest Chika” channels, claiming domestic violence and adultery.
The YouTube channel owners allegedly committed libel under Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, in relation to Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Google’s country manager Bernadette Nacario allegedly violated Section 20(b)(1) and Section 30(j) of the Rules and Regulations implementing the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
“Ang pamilya ko ang buhay ko. Gagawin ko ang lahat para protektahan sila. Hindi lang kami ang nakakaranas ng ganitong problema. Marami rin tayong mga kababayan na ilang beses nang nagreport ng mga mapanira na videos sa YouTube, pero wala silang aksyon,” Pangilinan said.
(My family is my life. I will do everything to protect them. We are not the only ones who experienced this problem. A lot of our countrymen have already reported some malicious videos on YouTube but they are not taking action.)
“There is obviously a gap somewhere. This needs to stop. Social media sites need to step up and be more responsive to reports and more especially to legal complaints. These are harmful to individuals and to families,” he added.
In the filed complaint, Pangilinan argued that as owner and service provider of YouTube, Google is liable under Philippine laws as a foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines.
He said Nacario is responsible for YouTube’s day-to-day operations in the Philippines.
AdChoiceTV News has reached out to Google for comment but their representatives have yet to respond as of posting time.
“Despite submissions of defamatory claims and prior knowledge of existence of the said defamatory videos, Google’s inaction and refusal to remove said videos violate Philippine laws and YouTube’s own Community Guidelines,” Pangilinan said.
“Dapat ipagtanggol natin ang katotohanan, at dapat managot ang mga nagpapakalat ng kasinungalingan. We will see them in court,” he added.
(We should defend the truth and hold those who peddle lies liable for their actions.)
The lawmaker said his office has already reported 82 fake and malicious videos to YouTube.
Of the said number, 54 videos have yet to be decided upon and 28 have been rejected through “a template uniform message claiming that the videos have already been reviewed and that the defamation claim has no merit.”
Apart from the filing of charges, Pangilinan has also sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division to get Starlet’s and Latest Chika’s information and relevant data.
He also asked the NBI to search and seize related computer data, and to identify the authors or persons responsible for the creation and management of the YouTube channel.
According to Pangilinan, several videos were uploaded on Starlet and Latest Chika YouTube channels with the title, content, and caption claiming that the he is physically hurting his wife, Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan.
The YouTube channel owners also claimed that Sharon and daughter KC Concepcion have filed cases against him for physical violence.
Apart from that, the videos claimed that Sharon is committing adultery.
Pangilinan and his family have repeatedly denied the accusations.
The lawmaker and his wife already cleared the allegations surrounding the domestic violence and adultery claims in an Instagram Live last May 28.
Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan