After a photo of her surfaced in the social media endorsing an online lending company, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte vehemently denied her involvement in any of its activities.
The lady mayor clarified in a statement on Sunday that she is not associated with PesosPh or other online lending companies that offer fast cash loans with exorbitant fees and interest.
“This is to alert the public about an online lending company that illegally used my photo to apparently deceive the public into believing that I am an endorser of their service,” Mayor Sara said.
She warned the public to be always circumspect in dealing with individuals, groups, organizations, and companies that are using her name in their business.
The mayor also urged the public to immediately report to the Philippine National Police (PNP) or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) fraudulent businesses or those that use her name to further their illegal activities.
Lawyer Barbara Mae Flores, deputy regional prosecutor of Department of Justice 11 (DOJ-11), said the mayor can directly report to Facebook the unauthorized use of her photo since Facebook have mechanisms on accounts which uses photos without permission.
“You can also stop the website use if the photo defames you or if it creates a false impression and injures a reputation,” she added.
However, she clarified that Mayor Sara can file charges if proven that this online lending company who used her photo for an advertisement does not have necessary licenses to operate.
“Actions can be taken by the mayor if that is the scenario,” Flores said.
She also added that such businesses require secondary license to operate apart from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) license.
Moreover, if the photo is used in a commercial websites such as in a business that sells products or services, the unauthorized use of your image would probably violate the right of publicity.
As of press time, PesosPh has not yet responded to the statement of Duterte. (PNA)
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