Owner of 8chan website has left PH – justice secretary

By Jeffrey Damicog

The American co-owner of the Philippine-based website linked to the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas in the United States has left the country, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra announces during a press briefing in Malacañang that the matter concerning the closure of the resorts in Boracay is currently one of the top priorities that are being discussed by the cabinet citing that it would not only concern the environmental aspect of the issue but the economic impact as well. (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Citing reports he received from the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Guevarra said Jimmy Ray Watkins, co-owner of the website 8chan, had left the Philippines May 9.

Meanwhile, Guevarra said the BI was also checking if Watkin’s son and website co-owner, Ronald, is still in the country, considering the name “Ronald Watkins” was a very common name.

“Ronald Watkins common name po marami po sila na iba iba ang passport number at DOB po (there are many of them who have different passport numbers and date of birth),” he noted.

Last Monday (US time), a 21-year-old gunman went on a shooting spree in El Paso, Texas and killed 22 people.

READ MORE: El Paso victim dies, raising death toll to 21

The gunman was reportedly a white supremacist who reportedly expressed his anger against immigrants, especially Latin Americans, in the website 8chan.

The Texas shooting was the third known attack this year known to have been perpetrated by a suspect who posted comments on the website.

The website was created by Philippine-based American Frederick Brennan, a wheelchair bound victim of brittle bone disease, as an online message board for free speech but gave up its control back in 2015 to Jimmy Watkins and his son.

Citing BI reports to him, Guevarra said Brennen has remained in the country since July 1, 2017 with a working visa.