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15 charged over COVID patient identity leak
September 25, 2020 – Fourteen persons and one company were charged for unlawfully disclosing private information of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients on social media last July, Mayor Benjamin Magalong bared today.
The mayor said a joint complaint-affidavit was filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office last Sept. 10 by complainants Romnick Paduit, Marco Quijano , Dominga De Leon, Nilo Gayas, Danessa Joy Gayo, Carol Millare, Jimmy Turdil, Roberta Calsiman, Junjay Aguirin, Emilio Villanueva Jr., Frederick Gallotan and Pamela Chan for several counts of violation of Section 9 of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act in relation to Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 against the following:
Jhonalyn Mapili a.k.a. “Hugot Igorota” , Lloyd Tabcao, Marina Y. Martin, Myles Ortega Delos Reyes, Vinz Wayang, Jenelyn Inyoh a.k.a. “Jenny Nicole Reign”, Precy Esteban, Thess Delizo Abellera, Juvy Cornel Sunia a.k.a. “Juzz Juvy”, Heral B. Alinao, Angielica Estepa Gumabay, Mt. Province Broadcasting Corporation, Genelyn L. Gacawen, Precy B. Manangan Hetherington and Joey Rejesus.
In their affidavit, the complainants said an investigation by the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit of the Cordillera found that respondents without any authority posted in their Facebook accounts the names, ages, addresses and/or occupations of the complainants after they tested positive for the virus on July 25.
“The postings in Facebook and eventual disclosure of their name, age, address, and/or occupation were all without the Complainants’ authorization, consent and permission, and the Complainants did not sign any legal document that gave the Respondents consent to make such disclosure,” the complainants noted.
The complaint included the results of an indepth investigation done on each of the respondents’ posts.
“As per investigation, it was determined that each Respondent is the same person as the person who posted the Complainants’ name, age, address and/or occupation, stating therein the complete list of positive cases without the Complainants’ authority, consent and permission,” they said adding:
Under the Section 9 of RA 11332, the unauthorized disclosure of private and confidential information pertaining to a patient’s medical condition or treatment is prohibited while in relation to Section 6, Chapter II of RA 10175, provides that “All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code as amended and special law if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act: That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher that that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be.
The complainants asked for P200,000 individually for “moral damages, anxiety, depression and sleepless nights” as a result of the “unauthorized acts of the respondents.” – Aileen P. Refuerzo/ PIO Baguio