THE website of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was hacked last Tuesday, December 1.
The hacker, which identified itself as Phantom Troupe, left the message “Stop blackmailing the NTC! Give ABS-CBN provisional authority” on the OSG site.
On Thursday, the OSG vowed to file charges against individuals or institutions behind the incident.
“The OSG will see to it that the individuals and institutions behind this act will be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” the OSG said in a statement.
It stressed that computer hacking is punishable under the Cybercrime Law and carries a maximum prison term of 12 years and fine commensurate to the damage done.
“This attack against the confidentiality, integrity, availability of computer data and systems of the OSG is a criminal offense under the Cybercrime Law. Any person found guilty shall be punished with up to 12 years in imprisonment or a fine up to maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both, ” the OSG bared.
” The OSG would like to assure the public that this incident is being taken seriously. We have augmented our security measures as we assess and investigate the matter. We have also engaged the assistance of the intelligence and investigation agencies of the government in identifying the individuals and institutions responsible for this malicious act, ” it continued.
Last February 10, Solicitor General Jose Calida asked the Supreme Court to nullify the franchise of television giant ABC-CBN. A quo warranto petition was filed against ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence Inc.
In a “Very Urgent Omnibus Motion,” the OSG urged the high court to forfeit the franchise of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc., saying “they are unlawfully exercising their legislative franchises.”
Also, the OSG stressed the petition was meant to stop the alleged “abusive practices” of ABS-CBN.
“We want to put an end to what we discovered to be highly abusive practices of ABS-CBN benefitting a greedy few at the expense of millions of its loyal subscribers. These practices have gone unnoticed or were disregarded for years,” Calida said in a statement.
ABS-CBN’s franchise expired last May, prompting the National Telecommunications Commission to issue a cease-and-desist order.
On numerous occasions, President Duterte threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, accusing the network of biased reporting, citing its failure to air his political advertisement during the 2016 campaign.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the granting of a franchise to television and radio companies is a power lodged in Congress.
International group Human Rights Watch decried Duterte’s moves blocking the franchise renewal, taking it as a curtailment of press freedom. The group added that lawmakers should remain “independent” from the President’s whims.
At the same time, Calida accused the network of being under foreign ownership citing as basis for his claim the network’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) which were issued supposedly through ABS-CBN Holdings Corporation.