The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has assigned its cybercrime division to probe the complaints of Sen. Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan against two YouTube channels and the country manager of Google Philippines for alleged attacks and fake news posted against him and his family.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand M. Lavin said on Thursday, Nov. 18, said the complaints have been assigned to the agency’s Cybercrime Division (NBI-CCD) led by Head Agent Victor V. Lorenzo.
Last week, State Counsel Angela Maria De Gracia of the Department of Justice’s Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) said the complaint of Pangilinan has been “endorsed to NBI for full blown investigation.”
In his complaint, Pangilinan identified the YouTube channels in his complaints before the DOJ-OOC as “Starlet” and “Latest Chika.”
The senator accused the two channels of having violated Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act No. 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, in relation to Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code.
Also named by Pangilinan as respondent was Google Philippines country manager Bernadette Nacario for violation of Section 20(b)(1) and Section 30(j) of RA 10175.
“Due to said public and malicious imputations, I suffered and continue to suffer damage to my good name, reputation, and career as a public servant. The public and malicious imputations have also caused serious anxiety and stress to me and my family,” Pangilinan said in his affidavits.
Once those behind the YouTube channels have been identified, Pangilinan said: “…I will pursue legal action against him/her/them, and I intend to use the data collected and preserved as evidence.”
He pointed out that YouTube is owned by Google and Nacario has “the responsibility to oversee the operations of the whole company.”
He also said in his affidavits:
“A total of 82 videos have been reported to be defamatory against Sen. Pangilinan and his family. The reports contain the time stamps, exact defamatory statements (in Filipino) and the legal basis on why such statements are in violation of the defamatory law in the Philippines.
“The common statements raised by the defamatory reports are Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan committing adultery by having an illicit affair with another man, and Sen. Pangilinan committing acts of violence (physical assault) against his wife which is in violation of the Violence Against Women and Children Act.
“As explained in the complaint to Google, under Philippine laws, a matter is defamatory when it imputes a crime, vice, defect, or any act, or omission, condition, status or circumstance, tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt to a person.
“From the defamatory complaints submitted, Google, as a service provider, has knowledge of the existence of the defamatory videos, and it still refused to remove such videos despite being informed of its defamatory nature which is in violation of the Philippine laws and even YouTube’s own Community Guidelines and its Policy, Safety and Copyright Policies.
“Being informed that the posting of the video on YouTube’s platform is unlawful, Google, as the service provider, should have taken down the said videos.”