Marjorie in spotlight over scandalous photos

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By Euden Valdez Lifestyle Reporter

Bloggers and online websites may be the fastest to post breaking news on social media, but have they gone too far just to direct traffic into their web pages?

Amidst the ongoing word war between members of the Barretto family, a couple of scandalous photos showing actress Marjorie Barreto in various states of undress surfaced on several social media sites last weekend. One photo showed her exposed right breast while the other showed her in her underwear.

On Tuesday, Barretto’s lawyer, Lorna Kapunan of Kapunan Gar­cia & Castillo Law Offices, held a press conference to announce that they already have a suspect.

Barretto, who made a short appearance at the press conference, however, did not make any statements and refused to give any details about the person who could have first uploaded the photos on the Internet.

“She already has the suspect, as to who the source of the photo is. She has not named the person to us as of the moment but she will disclose the information in due time. But we are working with the National Bureau of Investigation to give them the lead,” Irene Joy Garcia, Kapunan’s partner, said.

Kapunan said the law firm will make sure that the persons behind the blogs that led to the viral spread of the photos are made accountable.

“We already know the blogsites [that first uploaded the photos]. We confirmed it with the NBI this morning through their unit called Cyber [division]. They were able to trace who the bloggers are. In fact, two of them have United States addresses,” Kapunan said.

According to her, all blog sites responsible for uploading and dissemination of the photos clearly violated Barretto’s right to privacy under Republic Act 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.

Kapunan said they asked these sites to remove the photos and some of them have complied.

“Our message today is, do not test us. Republic Act 9995, this is the law. Let it be the message, we know who you are. Tanggalin na ninyo yan bago mahuli [Remove those photos now before you get arrested],” she said.

Kapunan admitted that it would be difficult to determine the motive behind the uploading of the photos especially with the ongoing election campaign and the much publicized feud between Marjorie’s sister Gretchen and their mother.

“It all boils down to the right of every person the right to privacy. Marjorie is not running as councilor of Caloocan anymore, and she hasn’t been involved with the fight between her mother and sister,” Garcia said.

Garcia said Barretto is very upset but that her utmost concern is the welfare of her three daughters.

“Her children are of discernable age and they have their own iPads and Facebook accounts,” she added.

Asked if it was really Barretto in the photo, Kapunan answered,“ it could be photoshopped, it could be her but that is not the point, it is her name and reputation at stake.”

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