Ex-DICT exec Rio victimized by trolls
“I am now the target of trolls who faked my account. Please block this troll that has a period after Jr. (My real account has no dot after Jr) and has less than 4,900 friends. Whoever is doing this feels threatened by me,” Former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Rio posted.
Geremy Pintolo, file

Ex-DICT exec Rio victimized by trolls

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. is himself one of the victims of alleged fake Facebook accounts.

In a Facebook post last Wednesday, Rio said that he has also become a target of trolls.

“I am now the target of trolls who faked my account. Please block this troll that has a period after Jr. (My real account has no dot after Jr) and has less than 4,900 friends. Whoever is doing this feels threatened by me,” Rio posted.

It was noted that the troll effort on Rio came shortly after he came out also on Facebook exposing the alleged irregularities in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases decision favoring StaySafe.PH apps for use in contact-tracing of persons affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Rio said that his long pending letter of resignation he filed last January was accepted by President Duterte last May 22 when he expressed disagreement in use of StaySafe.PH for contact-tracing.

“When Secretary Harry Roque called me early morning on May 22, to inform me before he will publicly announce that the President has accepted my resignation, my first reaction was surprise and I told him that I have not submitted any resignation letter to the President. He corrected me and said that the President has accepted my resignation that I filed on Jan. 31, 2020. Immediately I knew what triggered this acceptance but I just calmly told Secretary Roque that I accept the President’s decision and thank him for the honor of letting me be part of his administration,” Rio said.

Rio said when the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) was implemented on March 15, he was concerned that each government agency was coming out with their own IT (information technology) systems without coordinating with DICT, except for RapidPass which was initiated by Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

The Department of Health (DOH) has a number of IT companies helping it in its crucial role in this campaign against COVID-19. A number of IT experts are offering their apps in the fight against the pandemic.

Only StaySafe was accepted by the IATF without any technical vetting.


The DOH and private firm Multi-technology Corp. (Multisys) are set to sign an agreement to ensure that the use of contact-tracing system StaySafe.PH would be compliant with data privacy, confidentiality and cybersecurity laws. 
Palace spokesman Roque said under the agreement, the function of StaySafe.PH would be limited to data collection.

All data would be storied in the health department’s COVID-Kaya system, he added. The agreement covers source code, data, data ownership and intellectual property.

“The IATF gave attention to all complaints of the critics of StaySafe.PH and the government will be the owner of the data,” Roque said.

Under the agreement, the DOH shall accept the StaySafe.PH application upon the issuance of the DICT and the National Privacy Commission of a certification that the donation is technically feasible and secure.

The version of StaySafe.PH to be donated by Multisys must be able to perform bluetooth digital contact-tracing and serve as the front-end application system for local governments. Multisys would be given 30 days to comply with the directives in the agreement.

Roque also described as “speculative” claims that the acceptance of Rio’s resignation was related to the adoption of StaySafe.PH as a contact-tracing platform. 
As of June 4, the government has trained more than 15,000 contact-tracing team members. – With Alexis Romero, Janvic Mateo


Social media company Facebook has not seen evidence of a sudden surge in the creation of accounts in the country even as hundreds reported discovering blank profiles with their names last weekend.

“We continue to review reported accounts and verify their authenticity. At this time, we have not seen evidence of the reported accounts engaging in coordinated or malicious activity focused on creating fake accounts,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“We will continue to validate the authenticity of these accounts and prioritise the removal of those that violate our policies,” it added.

It said a majority of the accounts reported since Sunday have not been recently active, meaning that they are neither posting content, making any friend requests nor sending any messages.

Last Saturday, UP Cebu student publication Tug-ani reported the creation of empty duplicate accounts bearing active usernames of students.

This happened a day after the arrest of eight people over the protests held at UP Cebu against the proposed anti-terror bill.

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