DOJ to file inciting to sedition case vs. Rodel Jayme

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 6) — The Department of Justice found probable cause to charge Rodel Jayme, the owner of the website which first shared the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos.

State prosecutors announced that they found Jayme "liable for inciting to sedition," senior assistant state prosecutor JP Navera said Monday afternoon.

Jayme, who was arrested by authorities May 2, is the creator of the MetroBalita website that shared the series of videos of an anonymous man "Bikoy" that linked President Rodrigo Duterte's family members to a drug syndicate.

"The law punishes circulation. Circulation itself is a felony, so that act itself places him under the ambit of inciting to sedition," Navera said.

The prosecutor added that the case against Jayme will be filed Tuesday, and the panel recommended bail worth ₱36,000.

The charges stem from the provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

READ: Man claiming to be Bikoy surfaces, eyes suit vs drug syndicate

The National Bureau of Investigation arrested Jayme and seized his laptop and cell phone last week. Jayme has admitted to owning the website, saying he received payment for its creation.

"The videos and the libelous statements were already picked up by the media and almost everybody. Based on our evaluation, it can continuously engage people to run against the government kaya we found probable cause for inciting to sedition," added senior assistant state prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera.

The panel also ruled that Jayme's arrest is valid, calling it a case of "hot pursuit."

"What inciting to sedition punishes is the fact that... the posting of the videos would tend to stir up the people's dissatisfaction with the government," Devanadera said. "In that way, they are inciting people for disloyalty."

She added that the panel's recommendation would mean conducting further investigation into Jayme's acts.

If convicted, Jayme could face up to a 12 years in jail.