4 suspects to face charges for molesting Cebu student and uploading video online

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Sexual abuse and cybercrime charges will be filed against 4 unnamed male suspects who were seen in a video passed around online molesting an unconscious female student, Central Visayas’ Police Director General Debold Sinas told reporters on Wednesday, September 18.

The video was uploaded on September 16, on Facebook’s MyDay and Instagram stories. Those features allow users to upload content on the social media platforms that disappear after 24 hours.

The video was downloaded and passed around through Messenger, however.

Sinas said they would go after the person who downloaded the video and anyone who shared the video as well.

“The screenshots are there. We’ve consulted with legal already,” Sinas said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

He said they have at least 10 names of people who shared the video and would push through with their complaint against them to “teach them a lesson.”

The victim, who wished not to be identified publicly, told police she would follow through with filing an affidavit and a complaint against the 4 suspects.

According to Sinas, some of the suspects are also minors and he would not reveal their identity so as to not preempt the investigation of the Cebu City Police Office. 

“We’ll talk to the city administrator and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to see if the suspects acted with discernment,” Sinas said.

After it was discovered one of the suspects in the video was a student of the University of Cebu (UC), school administrators conducted their own investigation into the incident. 

“We have confirmed that one of the boys is from UC,” a university official told Rappler in a text statement. “The rest were from different Cebu schools.”

The statement added: “Despite this, the University of Cebu unequivocally condemns any form of harassment. Our principal and prefect of discipline have already started an investigation and... met the student involved and his parents.” 

They said that the student admitted he was in the video but said he “did not touch or harass the victim.”

The university also promised an appropriate sanction would be issued after they complete their investigation. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.