Jul 16, 2021 @ 11:52

Kiko Pangilinan sues Google PH, admins of 2 YouTube vlogs for libel before DOJ

Opposition Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday filed cybercrime cases against Google Philippines and administrators of YouTube channel “Starlet” and “Latest Chika” for what the legislator called “defamatory videos” about domestic violence and adultery.

“Ang pamilya ko ang buhay ko. Gagawin ko ang lahat para protektahan sila,” Pangilinan said shortly after he personally filed the complaint before the Department of Justice.

The filing of the complaints came to fore after his request to take down the videos have supposedly fallen on deaf ears.

“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, an official of the once dominant Liberal Party, said.

“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.

Pangilinan, likewise sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division to disclose Starlet’s and Latest Chika’s information and relevant data, to search and seize related computer data, and to identify the authors or persons responsible for the creation and management of the YouTube channel.

On May 2021, several videos were uploaded on Starlet and Latest Chika YouTube channels with the title, content, and caption claiming that the senator is physically hurting his wife, Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, and that cases were filed against him for physical violence against the actress and daughter KC.

The videos also claim that Sharon is committing adultery.

Pangilinan said his office has already reported 82 fake and malicious YouTube videos to YouTube, but 54 of the 82 videos have yet to be decided upon, while 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.

As of June 2021, the videos have already garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

In the complaint, the senator said that as owner and service provider of YouTube, Google is liable under Philippine laws as a foreign corporation doing business in the Philippines. And its country manager, Bernadatte Nacario, is responsible for YouTube’s day-to-day operations in the Philippines.

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,” Pangilinan said.

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