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Teacher who shared viral Commonwealth traffic jam video files counter affidavit

MANILA, Philippines — A teacher accused by the police of uploading the viral video of an alleged “VIP” causing a traffic jam in Commonwealth has filed a counter-affidavit to a complaint against him for reportedly spreading false information online.

Rights lawyer Chel Diokno accompanied private school educator Janus Munar on Tuesday to file a counter-affidavit as a response to the case against him lodged by the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) over the viral Commonwealth traffic video, which Munar insists he merely shared.

The video in question, which was posted by former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino on October 5, shows Executive Master Sergeant Verdo Pantollano audibly explaining to a motorist that a portion of Commonwealth was blocked to allow the convoy of “VP (Sara)” to pass.

After Vice President Sara Duterte denied being involved in the road closure, the QCPD apologized for the incident and said Pantollano "mistakenly heard the word VP, hence, he decided to clear the traffic as a sign of courtesy and security.”

RELATED: Sara denies causing Commonwealth traffic jam; cop in viral video now under probe  

Around a week after the incident,  Lt. Col. May Genio, commander of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD)’s Holy Spirit police station 14, publicly identified Munar as the person who allegedly uploaded the video in a radio interview.

The QCPD then charged Munar for allegedly violating Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Republic Act (RA) 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and violation of RA 7610, or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.

The child abuse case was allegedly due to the “trauma” and “stress” caused by the viral video to the daughter of the cop, who was ordered relieved and then reinstated by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte. 

Diokno said on X (formerly Twitter): “Kontra tayo sa fake news at child abuse, pero mukhang diskriminasyon na ito.”

On Tuesday, Munar took exception with the police’s filing of complaints and said that the act of "uploading or sharing a video showing a public officer in the performance of his official duties... cannot by any stretch