Viral documentary about fake PH gang garners 2.5M views, QCPD tracks actors
MANILA, Philippines — After a fake documentary about gangs in the Philippines went viral online, the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) located the video’s actors and said that charges will be filed against the person who created the movie.
The documentary titled “No-Go Zones: Philippines Gangs” was posted on a Facebook page called “Free Documentary”, which was originally named “Amazon Prime Video”, said the QCPD. While the video has only been up since April 25, it has already garnered 2.3 million views, 64,000 reactions and 9,300 shares.
The video revolves around a fabricated gang called the “Batangas City Jail Gang,” and makes false claims such as drugs being punishable by death. This is easily debunked by the fact that the death penalty is not legal in the country.
The QCPD also fact-checked the statistics presented by the fake documentary, saying that the actual crime statistics in the city did not match up to what it said.
“Based on QCPD records regarding the crime incidents of Quezon City, the statistics presented in the viral video are incorrect and misleading people. Crime incidents in Quezon City had actually decreased this year as a result of the efficient public order and safety interventions of the city government and law enforcement agency,” the police department said.
In the video, the actors were made to act as if they are part of rival gangs in a violent city full of crime.
The QCPD tracked down the actors in the video, who were identified as Jonathan Peralta, Allan Gelera, Ronnie Legarto, Ronnel Salinog, and Alvin Zaplan. They were interviewed by police, where it was found out they were swindled into acting in the video.
They were recruited by digital creator Marj Estrada-Rosas Life’s Beautiful Media Productions Inc. through someone named Rolando Bolito.
“Bolito promised to pay them P500 each and groceries to re-enact the video. However, they only received P200 each as initial payment. They also affirmed that the producer assured them that their faces will be blurred, but this did not transpire in the uploaded video,” said the QCPD.
As a result, charges will be filed against Rosas for swindling, in accordance with Republic Act 10951.
The video can still be seen on Facebook, despite the QCPD debunking the claims it made.