For multiple fake news and defamatory videos besmirching his name and those of his family, especially his wife, actress-singer Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, Sen. Francis Pangilinan filed cybercrime charges Google Philippines and the YouTube channel owners of Starlet and Latest Chika.
“There is obviously a gap somewhere. This needs to stop,” said Pangilinan. He said 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, 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, Bernadette Nacario, is responsible for YouTube’s day-to-day operations in the Philippines,” also said Pangilinan.
Despite submissions of defamatory claims and prior knowledge of existence of the said defamatory videos, he pointed out in his complaint about Google’s inaction and refusal to remove said videos.
Pangilinan, also a lawyer, said this amount to violation of Philippine laws and YouTube’s own Community Guidelines.
The Senator also 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. He also asked the NBI to identify the authors or persons responsible for the creation and management of the YouTube channel.
The complaint stemmed from several videos uploaded in May 2021 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.
The fake news peddled by these sites also showed cases were Sharon and daughter KC, also an actress, filed physical violence complaints against Pangilinan.
The videos also claim that Sharon is committing adultery by having an affair with a young man.
Pangilinan stressed both allegations against him and Sharon have repeatedly been denied and proven to be untrue
The Senator said his wife earlier took to Instagram Live to clear the allegations surrounding the domestic violence and adultery claims. He said the Instagram Live, shown on May 28, may still be viewed in the following links:
Instagram: https:// www.instagram.com/tv/CPaWx_TDQeV/?utm_medium=copy_link
Facebook: https:// fb.watch/v/15pDs9EBe/
Pangilinan said his office 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, Pangilinan said the videos have already garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
“My family is my life. I will do everything to protect them,” said Pangilinan as he personally appeared before the Department of Justice.
The Senator said his requests to take down YouTube videos have been ignored.
According to Pangilinan, they were not the only ones experiencing this kind of problem. He said there were several others who reported defamatory videos YouTube, but no actions were taken,” Pangilinan said.