‘Revolt’ vs corruption: Gov’t websites hacked
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Hackers yesterday posted a message on several government websites calling on the public to join a “revolution” against corruption.

A group calling itself Anonymous Philippines defaced the websites of at least five government agencies, including that of the Office of the Ombudsman.

The message urged the people to join the “Million Mask March” at the Batasang Pambansa in Batasan Hills, Quezon City tomorrow - the latest Internet appeal for such demonstrations as anger grows over corruption in the government.

“Greetings, citizens of the Philippines. We are Anonymous,” the statement appearing on the press releases section of www.ombudsman.gov.ph read.

“We apologize for this inconvenience, but this is the only easiest way we could convey our message to you, our dear brothers and sisters who are tired of this cruelty and this false democracy, tired of this government and the politicians who only think about themselves,” it said.

The message did not name any politician but it warned: “To the corrupt - fear us.”

“The government, in many ways, has failed its citizens... Let us remind the government that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words. They are perspectives,” the hackers declared.

“A march is happening, a revolution. A way to speak, a way to be heard. On the fifth day of November, 2013, we will try to be a part of the history.”

The group challenged the “incorrupt” officials of the government to join the protest.

Anonymous Philippines claimed to have hacked a number of government websites in the past.

In August, an appeal for an anti-graft street protest, aired on Twitter and Facebook, drew tens of thousands of protesters in Rizal Park. Several smaller protests, also publicized on social media, have since been held.

Public anger has grown over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in connivance with legislators.

Napoles has been jailed as plunder charges are readied against her while the justice department has asked for the cancellation of the passports of three opposition senators linked to the scam and their alleged conspirators.

President Aquino, elected in 2010 on an anti-corruption platform, has also become ensnared in the controversy as opposition and government critics have charged that he was also misusing special funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

In response, Aquino went on national television last Wednesday to declare he is not a thief. He accused the opposition of trying to divert public attention from their own alleged corruption.

Previous hacking attacks on Philippine government websites have been the work of foreign groups angry over territorial disputes or - as in September 2012 - by those angry at a restrictive cybercrime law.

Hackers of government websites could face up to six months in prison.

ANONYMOUS PHILIPPINES BATASAN HILLS BATASANG PAMBANSA DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM GOVERNMENT IN AUGUST JANET LIM-NAPOLES MILLION MASK MARCH OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN PRESIDENT AQUINO
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