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Facebook, YouTube sued for cyber libel over ‘Bikoy’ videos

COMPLAINANT DEMANDS P1B IN DAMAGES FOR 'TARNISHED NAME'
/ 04:57 PM May 23, 2019
Businessman sues Facebook, YouTube over 'Bikoy' videos

Bicolano construction magnate Elizaldy Co (right) files two cyberlibel complaints before the Legazpi City Prosecutor’s Office in Albay last May 14, 2019, seeking a total of P1.1-billion in damages versus “Bikoy,” Facebook and YouTube.

MANILA, Philippines — A shareholder of Misibis Bay Resort has filed a cyber libel complaint against Peter Joemel Advincula and social media giants Facebook and YouTube for the “false, malicious and libelous accusations” in “The Real Narcolist” videos that tagged the resort as a venue for the illegal drug trade.

Businessman Elizaldy Co said he is seeking over P1-billion in damages against the social media giants and Advincula who introduced himself as the hooded man in “The Real Narcolist” videos tagging President Rodrigo Duterte’s relatives and allies of being involved in illegal drug activities.

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READ: Misibis Bay Resort in Albay to file cyberlibel case vs ‘Bikoy’

While Advincula retracted his claims on Thursday and said that the videos were orchestrated by the Liberal Party and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Co said their “fight to clear our tarnished name and reputation continues.”

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“The truth is finally out. By his own admission, ‘Bikoy’ said everything in the viral video series that implicates me, Misibis Bay Resort and other personalities in the illegal drug trade are pure fabrication. While my family and I are happy that this episode is finally over, our fight to clear our tarnished name and reputation continues,” Co said in a statement Thursday.

Regarding the resort’s legal action against Facebook and YouTube, Co said the social media giants allowed their platform to be used to spread the deception despite their request for the videos to be taken down last April 26.

“Like ‘Bikoy’, Facebook and YouTube must be held accountable. Our legal system shouldn’t allow them to be part of a systematic campaign to destroy people and simply get away with it,” Co said.

What the complaint states

Based on the two complaints, which were filed last May 14, Co and Misibis Resort Management are demanding for a total of at least P1.1 billion in civil damages.

The first complaint filed against Facebook Philippines, Advincula, and other unidentified individuals responsible for the malicious video demands P150 million in moral damages and P100 million in exemplary damages. The complaint also demands payment for 10% for attorney’s fees for each of the two complainants.

Meanwhile, the second complaint filed against Advincula, Google Philippines as the owner of YouTube, and other unidentified persons as respondents, demands the same amount of damages of P500 million and P50 million in attorney’s fee.

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The civil damages sought from the two complaints totaled to at least. P1.1 billion.

The complaints state the videos tarnished Co’s reputation and the popularity of the resort in Albay.

“I and other officers of the Complainant Corporation received several phone calls and/or messages from our business partners, suppliers, creditors, clients and some concerned individuals, inquiring about the veracity of the statements in the said video,” Co said in the complaint-affidavit.

“Evidently, my good name, business reputation and social standing, as well as the good name, business reputation and goodwill of Misibis Bay Resort, as well as its owner, Complainant Corporation, Misibis Resort and Hotel Management Inc., which were painstakingly built through the years, were gravely tarnished, irreparably tainted and/or unduly smeared as a result of the publication of the subject video,” he added.

The businessman added that “some banking and financial institutions with which we have significant financial dealings even raised questions on my creditworthiness.”

(Editor: Abe Cerojano)

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