Facebook Messenger photos, messages, and videos are admissible as evidence in the court, as ruled by the Supreme Court.

Oh, even deleting messages do not work. There’s no escape.

The Supreme Court said that it has ruled messages from Facebook’s messenger could be admissible as evidence.

This ruling came to fruition after Christian Cadajas was convicted of being sexually involved with a minor. This is also based on a 31-page ruling by Justice Jhosep Lopez. Cadajas refuted stating that viewing his messages is a violation of privacy.

Cadajas, a 24-year-old was romantically engaged with a 14-year-old girl back in 2016. The two conversed on Facebook Messenger, the latter of which used her mother’s phone. At one point, Cadajas persuaded the girl to send pictures of her private parts, but she continuously refused.

Later, he quickly learned that the girl forgot to log out of her account and, out of panic, he asked her to delete the messages. However, it was too late. Even if it was removed, the messages can be accessed via Facebook’s servers.

Despite Cadajas’ claims, the messenger thread was obtained by private means, not by government officials and police officers and therefore, is not a violation of the right to privacy. Also, Cadajas gave his Facebook password to said minor and therefore, already lost a part of the privacy he was trying to claim.

In addition, the High Court also stated that the restrictions do not violate the Data Privacy Act since the evidence was used to process a criminal act.

“The Court also ruled that the crime of child pornography, while defined and penalized under a special law, should be classified as mala in se, or acts that are inherently immoral and thus require proof of criminal intent by the accused, as opposed to mala prohibita, or those acts which are prohibited only because the law says so, making the intent of the accused irrelevant,” the SC explained.

It was reported that, in 2020, The Philippines is a hotspot for child abuse and child sexual exploitation cases. In response, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to sanction telco companies if they fail to comply with the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Source: ABS-CBN