SENATORS in the minority on Thursday raised concern over several hacking incidents in the email addresses of staff in the offices of Senators Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino.
They claimed the hacking incidents were aimed at pinning the political opposition for imaginary destabilization attempts.
The same day, the senators belonging to the minority bloc said official e-mail addresses for releasing the media statements of Pangilinan and the Liberal Party were hacked.
Aside from Pangilinan and Aquino, the other senators belonging to the minority bloc are Senate Minoriy Leader Frank Drilon and Senators Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes.
They said the nature of the breach in all instances was the same: Unauthorized users sent e-mails using the staff and party addresses.
“We have reported previous incidents to the National Bureau of Investigation and we await updates on the matter,” the senators said in a statement.
“We seek the help of the Senate president and the Senate sergeant-at-arms to look into the matter and to secure the services of experts.”
The senators raised their concern as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre spearheaded the creation of the Citizen National Guard, which says dissent is destabilization.
“Let us be clear. There is no destabilization plot. Dissent is not destabilization. Dissent is indispensable in a democracy,” the senators said.
They said constitutional democracy protects the small voice, including the minority and the individual citizen, vis-a-vis the many and especially the all-powerful state.
“Democracy ensures that the small voice is heard and not harassed to silence,” they said.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said he was saddened by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s accusations against him on social media.
“Marunong din naman tayong tumanaw ng utang na loob sa mga tumulong sa atin sa halalan. Kasama na dito ang Davao City,” Pangilinan said.
In fact, Pangilinan said, he had allocated some projects for Davao since 2001 until 2012 during his two terms as senator.
“But our duty to our country and fellow Filipinos should be given more weight over friendship. A debt of gratitude has its own boundaries,” Pangilinan said.