Robredo reminds admin: Wiretapping is still illegal
MANILA, Philippines — After a Malacañang official admitted that the latest list of politicians linked to illegal drugs was based on wiretapped phone calls. Vice President Leni Robredo has reminded the administration that wiretapping remains illegal.
“Unang una, alam naman natin na may anti-wiretapping law tayo, ‘di ba. Unang una, bawal iyon,” Robredo told reporters after a business forum in Tuggegarao City, Cagayan on Thursday.
The Vice President was referring to R.A. 4200 or the Anti Wiretapping Law, which prohibits the practice of secretly overhearing and recording communications through wire or cable using any device or equipment.
On Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said foreign governments including that of the United States, Israel, China, and Russia have given the Philippine government information sourced from wiretapped conversations of politicians and criminal organizations.
Panelo later recanted his statement, saying that he merely used the wrong word and that what he meant was that the information was given without the Philippine government asking for it.
Robredo said that although she believes the public should be made aware of the contents of the narco list, she urged the administration to be careful in releasing the narco list as previous lists that were made public have ended in apologies.
“Tayo, tingin ko dine-deserve natin na ipaalam sa atin kung sino-sino ang mga ito, kasi ayaw naman natin na nag-e-elect tayo into office ng mga narco politicians. Pero gawin natin nang tama,” she asked.
“Kasi kung papadaanin sa lists, in the last two and a half years, ilang beses nang nag-urong-sulong ng mga pangalan—may ilalabas na pangalan, later on mag-a-apologize kasi mali pala,” she added.
President Rodrigo Duterte in September 2016 presented a narco list, named specific politicians, only to apologize laetr as the names of some politicians were wrongfully included in the list.
The President apologized to Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr., Board Member Raul Sison and former provincial administrator Rafael Baraan who was earlier accused of protecting the drug trade. He also admitted negligence, saying that there were lapses in the ‘focusing’ of the narco list. /muf
Robredo suggested that government officials should file cases against these individuals — if they have sufficient pieces of evidence.
“Kung mayroong ebidensya laban sa mga narco politicians, bakit hindi kasuhan? […] Parang unfair naman ito doon sa naging biktima. So iyong sa atin, sana kasuhan para nasa court of law, mayroon silang pagkakataong depensahan iyong sarili, iyong ebidensya iko-confront sa kanila, parang, harapan,” she explained. /muf
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