Inciting to sedition rap filed vs 'sharer' of 'Bikoy' videos

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Inciting to sedition rap filed vs 'sharer' of 'Bikoy' videos
National Bureau of Investigation agents brought Rodel Jayme to the Department of Justice Thursday afternoon for inquest.
PTV4 / Kenneth Paciente

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities on Thursday slapped the “sharer” of links to “Ang Totoong Narcolist” anonymous videos with an inciting to sedition complaint in relation to cybercrime law.

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division brought Rodel Jayme to the DOJ late Thursday afternoon. They filed a complaint alleging a violation of Article 142 or “Inciting to Sedition” in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 before an inquest prosecutor.

According to the Revised Penal Code, inciting to sedition can be done through speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, cartoons, banners or other representations "that tend to disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in executing the functions of his office, or instigate others to cabal and meet together for unlawful purposes, or which suggest or incite rebellious conspiracies or riots, or which lead or tend to stir up the people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community, the safety and order of the government, or who shall knowingly conceal such evil practices."

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra identified Jayme as the person behind metrobalita.net, a website that he said investigators found "was constantly posting links of the aforesaid ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist.’”

The constant posting of metrobalita.net “allowed [the] public to have easier access” to the videos.” Guevarra said.

The Justice chief said that investigation on the anonymous videos that alleged links between the Dutertes and the illegal drug trade was launched on April 17.

During the course of the investigation, a certain Teresa Ranola filed a complaint on April 26 saying that “she was named and maliciously imputed as part of a Quadrangle Group who was involved in the illegal drug trade.”

NBI agents served a search warrant on Jayme early Tuesday morning and he was subsequently arrested.

The NBI noted in its complaint that the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video was posted by different social media sites, “having the front runners to wit:”

  • Pinoy Ako Blog
  • Change Scamming
  • Metro Balita
  • Madam Claudia
  • What the FACT blog

“Continuous efforts were conducted to uncover personalities behind these accounts. Recently, crucial information on METRO BALITA were gathered. Hence, emphasis and focus were made,” the complaint further read.

The NBI said that it recovered Jayme’s email and Facebook conversations with a certain “Maru Nguyen” and “Maru Xie,” whom they said are the same person.

“Based on the retrieved conversations, there is continuity of their efforts to conduct their scurrilous libellous attacks against the government. The conversations revealed that these attacks are planned and with backing from certain personalities,” it added.

The NBI did not file a cycberlibel complaint against Jayme despite the possibility being floated earlier in the day.

The NBI argued that the advent of technology magnified the power of speech tenfold

“Status posts and the likes are now considered as ‘electronic speech’ or speech done electronically. The internet, or Social Media to be précised [sic], is platform designed to reach audience on worldwide level,” the bureau added.

“Seditious words or speeches, write, publish, or circulate scurrilous libels, can now be done electronically (Social media and Blog web pages) and being online it now caters to a larger and wider audience,” the complaint read.

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