DOJ chief assures integrity of polls but mum on safety of voters
Acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas on Tuesday assured that the integrity of the May national elections will not be affected by the data breach from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) website but refused to comment on the safety of voters despite the leak of their personal data.
He warned that the use of the leaked data is punishable under the law.
“It is a case of stolen information. In other cases, it is stolen property. Everything that does not belong to you must be returned to the rightful owner and if you are going to utilize it, use it and even send it, transact it, that is illegal,” Caparas explained.
After the Comelec website was defaced by Anonymous Philippines last March 31, another group of hackers named LulzSec Pilipinas revealed that it has breached the poll body’s website and placed the data of voters in a dump.
Eventually, a website was created containing the data dump from Comelec. It is a searchable site to see a voter’s details.
Caparas said they already have a multi-agency meeting to address the Comelec leak.
“Please rest assured the agencies will look into this including the DOJ (Department of Justice) and the Comelec, of course. Your ICTO (Information and Communication Technology Office), your security agencies are looking at this for investigative and for prosecutorial purposes if necessary,” Caparas said.
“There is also the angle of the data and how do we protect the public from any unwarranted or illegal use of that data. Please know that we are looking at these angles as well and we are going to do our very best to make sure there is no compromise on the integrity of the elections,” he added.
He expressed confidence that authorities will soon trace the source of the leak.
“Eventually, malalaman natin yan (we would know it). Let us give our authority the time and space,” Caparas said. RAM
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