• Hackers of gov’t websites in pork protest wasting state funds


    The hackers of 38 government websites in protest of the discretionary funds of the President and the lawmakers, more popularly known as pork barrel, are wasting government resources, lawmakers said Monday.

    Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. of Quezon City, House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela party-list expressed such sentiments in light of the hacking of a handful of state websites  in the aftermath of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s speech defending the discretionary funds of the Executive and the Legislative branches.

    “Certainly, hacking government sites is not a good idea. We have to take steps to make sensitive websites difficult, if not impossible, to hack,” Belmonte said.

    “This hacking will result to additional expenses to be sourced from our national coffers. The freedom to express grievances is a Constitutional right, but it is not absolute,” Tugna added.

    The hackers identified themselves as Anonymous Philippines and has urged the public to join the Million Mask March vs. the “pork barrel” to be held at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on November 5.

    “It is not an excuse to commit an illegal and criminal act like destroying the website of a government agency, to express their grievance,” Tugna pointed out.

    Ilagan, for her part, underscored that joining protests to push for accountability of public officials does not mean that you have to resort to illegal measures.

    “The trouble with hacking is that important records belonging to the public can be erased.  These technology-savvy individuals should also consider the collateral damage. They could join the mass protests without this [hacking],” Ilagan said.

    The government websites that were hacked include that of the Office of the Ombdusman, the local government units of Pasig City, Pateros and Vigan City, Kalinga province, the 3rd District of Laguna, among others. LLANESCA T. PANTI


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