MANILA — The identity and location of a man who allegedly threatened to rape Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of Sen. Francis Pangilinan and actress Sharon Cuneta who started the #HijaAko online movement seeking to end sexual violence, has been ascertained, the Philippines' justice department said Tuesday.
"The DOJ-Office of Cybercrime has ascertained the identity and location of the person who allegedly threatened Frankie Pangilinan," Undersecretary Markk Perete, spokesperson of the Department of Justice, told reporters.
Perete did not disclose other details.
He said the DOJ has yet to receive reports from the camp of Cuneta, who, on Saturday, shared on Instagram an alleged quote from a certain Sonny Alcos, saying that if he were 12 years old, he would rape Pangilinan, 19, and then evade imprisonment because of a law her father authored.
Cuneta's social media post also showed an alleged photo of Alcos, who is supposedly in London.
Authorities used "open-source intelligence" to confirm that the person is real, as well as his residence, where he came from, his current work and employer, and congregation, Perete told ANC earlier in the day.
"It (cybercrime office) has also made a request for Facebook to preserve the content of the account pending the filing of the complaint by the offended party," he said.
Should a complaint be filed, law enforcers may apply for a warrant to disclose computer data. The person may still face charges even if he is abroad, Perete said.
"We have a number of laws which actually would extend jurisdiction for so long as one of the elements of the crime is committed," he said, citing the possibility of requesting for extradition to bring the person back in the country.
Perete said the DOJ is looking at a number of laws that may be filed against the man, including the Safe Spaces Act and the Revised Penal Code in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The Safe Spaces Act punishes any sexist remark, psychological or emotional threat using information and communications technology with up to 4 years in prison. Jail time for grave threats under the Revised Penal Code and the Cybercrime Prevention Act could reach 20 years, he said.
The DOJ is looking as well into other related cases, including one which could involve identity theft as the profile picture of another social media user was taken to create a different account.
The National Bureau of Investigation has said it is also probing the person.
FRANKIE AS COMPLAINANT
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Pangilinan "should be the one to sign the complaint and attest to it under oath" if she is already of legal age.
"It's not required that the complainant personally go to the prosecutor's office/DOJ. Her lawyer may do it for her, provided the complaint has been duly sworn to by the complainant," he said.
"It is preferable, though, that the complainant personally appear before the prosecutor," he added.
Guevarra said the family may file the complaint in any city prosecutor's office this week if they want to, or next week at the DOJ when the COVID-19 lockdown in the department is already lifted.
The DOJ-Padre Faura offices in Manila City are on lockdown until June 28. Five personnel there earlier tested positive for the novel coronavirus.