A group calling themselves “We Are Collective” has released a story about the “truth behind” Vice President Leni Robredo and her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, have become the subjects on March 3 at 3pm. Their article, which they said to be merely the first part of their expose, called #NagaLeaks, went viral.
However, a few photographers reacted to how the group merely used their photos without asking for permission first.
Photographer Francisco Guerrero took to Facebook to call out We Are Collective, adding that what the anonymous group did was “simply theft.”
“I am posting this to be clear that The Collective (or whoever is behind this) is using my images, and fellow photographers Edwin Tuyay, Jason Quibilan without permission.
I have never been contacted or associated with this group and would kindly request that the image be taken down.
Regardless of politics, this is simply theft, and bad writing.”
Based on the comments, netizens said that the group behind #NagaLeaks committed copyright violation, which they said was enough grounds for the post to be reported.
Yet another photographer, Jason Quibilan, told We Are Collective to stop using his photographs without his permission.
Edwin Tuyay called out not only pro-Duterte groups but also those who oppose the President to stop using the photos he took “without [his] consent.”
The group We Are Collective has responded to the comments of the photographers.
To Guerrero, the group said they are sorry for using the photo without his permission and ask him if he could simply grant the usage of his photo as “balato” for the people.
“Pasensya na ho sobrang gandang ganda lang kami sa kuha nyo kaya ginamit naming. Balato mo na lang to sa taong bayan,” the group said.
They added that while they could not give Guerrero financial compensation, they will surely receive the gratitude of the Filipinos.
And they also gave their excuse as to why they used Guerrero’s photo.
“Tutal nagkalat na naman sa web yang picture na yan so we figured, let’s just use it,” they said.
We Are Collective also asked just how apolitical Guerrero is.
“Sabi nyo sa post nyo regardless of politics, so correct us if we’re wrong, apolitical nga ho ba talaga kayo?” they said.
“Because if you are, then dapat ok lang sainyo. We’ll even credit you here in our page with our compliments. In fact napakarami nang memes na kumalat using this same picture of yours and yet hindi naman kayo umangal. Ganun ho talaga sa social media, uso na ho nakawan. Kami nga may nagclone pa ng page namin na isang desperadong mama na nagngangalang Harvey Keh ginamit din yung pictures ng site namin without our permission with the intent of confusing the public hinahayaan lang namin. Tingnan mo yung page nila hanggang ngayon nakatayo pa,” they added.
Before concluding their post, We Are Collective said they welcome any legal action from Guerrero.
“But if you will be mad at us for using the picture dahil yung contents ng article namin ay nakakasira sa imahe ni Leni, gayung ang original intent mo talaga for taking that picture is to glamorize Leni at bayad ka ng bonggang bongga for doing so, then please, sue us,” the group said.
We Are Collective also posted another message to Quibilan and the other photographers, who took President Rodrigo Duterte’s photos, which are used in #NagaLeaks. They apologized and promised to give credit to the photographers whose pictures were put up in their website.