Robredo: Allowing foreign governments to spy on PH is illegal
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has reminded the administration that allowing foreign governments to spy on the Philippines is illegal.
Robredo issued the statement after Malacañang officials confirmed the existence of a destabilization plot involving media entities and human rights groups, which Duterte said was sourced from information provided by a foreign country.
“Nakakatakot iyong pahayag ng Pangulo na iyong pinagmulan ng kaniyang source ay produkto ng pag-eespiya ng isang foreign government sa mga Pilipino. Unang una, bawal iyon. Sa ilalim ng batas, hindi iyon pinapayagan,” Robredo said during an interview on Wednesday.
(It is scary to hear from the President that the source of information was a foreign government. First, it’s illegal [to spy on Filipinos]. Under our laws, it cannot be allowed.)
“Pero para sa Pangulo, na siya mismo ang magsasabi na galing ito sa pag-eespiya ng ibang bansa, nakakatakot ito, hindi lang sa privacy kundi sa security natin bilang isang bansa,” she added.
(For the President to admit this has serious repercussion on our privacy and security.)
Robredo, a lawyer, did not mention any specific law. However, R.A. 4200 or the
Anti-Wiretapping Act says that wiretapping, which is one possible method in espionage, is illegal.
On Monday, a story ran by the chairman emeritus of a national broadsheet claimed that journalist Ellen Tordesillas, media organizations Rappler, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and lawyers’ group National Union of People’s Lawyers (NULP) are working to overthrow the government.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed this report, which he said was done through the help of a foreign country.
This was not the first time foreign governments allegedly helped the Duterte administration.
After the release of the narcolist which involved local politicians, Panelo said the list was based on wiretapped conversations.
He later recanted the statements, citing wrong choice of words.
Robredo lamented that the government is allowing other countries to violate the privacy of its citizens.
“Gustong sabihin mas pinapaboran ba more than the Filipino citizens? ‘Di ba dapat kapag opisyal ka ng pamahalaan, iyong pinaka-pangunahing kailangan mong proteksyunan iyong mga tao, iyong mga Pilipino, dahil ito iyong mga umaasa at humihiling ng proteksyon laban sa iyo?” Robredo asked
(Does this mean that the government is favoring foreign governments more than its citizens? If you are a government official, isn’t it that your first duty is to protect your people, the Filipinos, because they depend on you?)
“Pero kapag hinahayaan mo na isang foreign government ang, parang, magva-violate ng ating karapatan sa privacy, masamang signal ito (But if they allow a foreign government to violate our privacy, this is a bad sign),” she claimed. /ee
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