cyber libel in the Philippines

Pangilinan files cyber libel complaint vs YouTube channel Maharlika

Lorenz Pasion
Pangilinan files cyber libel complaint vs YouTube channel Maharlika

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan files a third cyberlibel complaint against the creators of Maharlika YouTube channel for false and destructive videos. PHOTO COURTESY OF SENATOR PANGILINAN

This is the third cyber libel complaint Senator Kiko Pangilinan files against YouTube channels
Pangilinan files cyber libel complaint vs YouTube channel Maharlika

MANILA, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate Senator Francis Pangilinan filed a cyber libel complaint against YouTube channel “Maharlika” on Monday, February 14, for spreading videos that he said intended to damage his and his family’s reputation. 

This is the third time Pangilinan sued YouTube channels for libel.

In his latest complaint, Pangilinan said that the videos posted of the YouTube channel Maharlika had no factual basis, and were intended only to damage the reputation of his political career and private life.

“More importantly, the libelous videos are meant to destroy the family. The libelous videos are not only intended to damage my relationship with my wife but also meant to destroy my relationship with our children,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan also said that tech giant Google, which owns YouTube, must explain how the videos did not violate its community standards after its inaction to the senator’s repeated request to take down the “libelous video content.”

The senator previously filed libel complaints against YouTube channels “Latest Chika” and “Starlet” in July 2021 for similar false videos, which the online platform has since taken down.

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Pangilinan is running in the May elections, together with presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo’s supporters earlier also filed a cyber libel complaint against a retired doctor for accusing her of giving cash to supporters who joined her caravan.

YouTube has been the hotbed for political disinformation and misinformation of several groups supporting certain politicians, including the supporters of the family of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos, that distort historical facts and perpetuate myths about the Marcos family.

Earlier this year, over 80 fact-checking organizations worldwide called out YouTube in a signed open letter addressed to its CEO Susan Wojcicki for its failure to address the spread of misinformation and disinformation on its website. The organizations also called for increased action to end the spread of information on the platform.

Rappler, which is among the 80 fact-checking organizations, says “it is imperative that YouTube introduces policies on labeling false information on their platform as this could affect the Philippines’ presidential elections in 2022.”– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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