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Individual accused of uploading 'VIP' traffic video files counter affidavit

The individual accused of uploading the viral video in which police officers blocked a portion of Commonwealth Avenue to allow a “VIP” to pass through submitted his counter-affidavit before Quezon City prosecutors on Monday.

In the 10-page document, Janus Munar moved to dismiss the complaint filed against him for violation of Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Republic Act (RA) 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and violation of RA 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, in relation to RA 10175.

“The complaint affidavit does not establish that any crimes were committed and that I did anything unlawful,” Munar said.

“It is a blatant attempt to go after me for doing what millions of Filipinos do all the time on the internet— share photos and videos of public events, including those of public officers performing their official duties in ways that may adversely affect ordinary citizens,” he added.

Munar said he believed that he had been singled out and became a convenient target as the police did not know the identity of the videographer.

Further, he said the complaint did not allege that he was the one who took the video, only that he “uploaded” it.

Munar added that sharing the video was an exercise of his constitutional right to express himself on a matter of public concern.

“I humbly submit, therefore, that I am not being prosecuted by an aggrieved citizen for any crime; rather, I am being wrongly persecuted by a police officer for lawful acts that are protected by the Constitution,” he said.

In the video posted on X by former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino, a policeman said that a VIP was going to pass by when asked by the driver why they stopped traffic.

When asked who the VIP was, the policeman said it was “VP.”

The driver further clarified if it was “VP Sara,” to which the policeman said, “Oo [yes].”

The Office of the Vice President, however, denied that it was VP Sara Duterte as she was in Mindanao for the World Teacher’s Day celebration and other activities at that time.

For its part, the QCPD previously said the policeman involved said he "mistakenly heard the word VP, hence, he decided to clear the traffic as a sign of courtesy and security.”

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Atty. Chel Diokno, Munar’s legal counsel, said he would defend Munar until the end.

“Ilalaban natin ang kasong ito hanggang sa huli. Ito’y malinaw na panggigipit dahil wala silang hawak na anumang ebidensiya para suportahan ang kanilang akusasyon laban kay Janus Munar,” Diokno, chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), said.

(We will fight until the end. They are clearly pressuring him because they don’t have any evidence to support their accusations against Janus Munar.) — DVM, GMA Integrated News