MANILA, Philippines – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman has said that they are working on a case involving the alleged abuse of a baby by a relative, photos and videos of which have gone viral online.
“We’re working on it. But due to security reasons, we can’t give update. Baby will be safe. Thanks,” Soliman (@dinkysunflower) said on Twitter.
A man was shown in photos pretending to sit on a baby or choke it. One photo showed the man stepping on the baby's chest while pulling his arms. The baby was shown crying in some of the photos.
A video, which has also spread on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, shows the man playing roughly with the baby.
The photos and videos were posted by a man claiming to be the baby’s father, who said his live-in partner’s brother, the baby’s uncle, kept “playing” with his child.
Netizens were outraged by the photos and video, and encouraged the authorities to quickly address the matter.
However, some also said the photos were a hoax, and refused to agree that the "rough play" was child abuse.
On Thursday, Soliman replied to netizens sending her the photos of the child, and asked them to give her the man’s address so they could “send someone immediately.”
Media showing abused people and animals have also gone viral on social media in the past, with online Filipinos lobbying for quick action by the authorities.
Online outrage has led to offline action. Recently, animal activists tracked down the driver of an SUV photographed with a dog tied to its spare tire.
A motorist caught on video threatening a traffic constable has also had his license revoked and charges filed against him.
Punishments have also been meted out, with a couple being jailed for videos they made of animals being tortured.