The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which filed the case, arrested Biteng at his home in April 2016 for his involvement in a group called Anonymous Philippines, which reportedly defaced the Comelec website in March that year.
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‘Comeleaks’ hacker acquitted
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - February 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Manila court has dismissed the charges against a man who allegedly hacked and defaced the website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before the 2016 presidential elections.

In a Feb. 17 decision, Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina of the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 acquitted Paul Biteng of the charges of illegal access, data interference and misuse of devices under Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

She said the prosecution failed to categorically link Biteng to the hacking of the Comelec website and the leaking of voters’ data, an incident that was later called “Comeleaks.”

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which filed the case, arrested Biteng at his home in April 2016 for his involvement in a group called Anonymous Philippines, which reportedly defaced the Comelec website in March that year.

The NBI presented Biteng’s hacking tutorial videos on Youtube, a screenshot of the defaced website and his comments on the incident, all posted online.

Biteng allegedly used the name “kh4lifax”to hack the Comelec website, with the username showing on the defaced website and used as name for an account that posted the hacking tutorial videos.

“There is no direct evidence categorically linking him as the perpetrator for the crimes charged,” the judge said.

“The court cannot discount the possibility that the author of the said posts is a different person, who somehow accessed accused’s social media accounts,” she added.

Medina also cited that the internet protocol address reportedly used to deface the Comelec website was assigned to the NBI, according to a finding by the Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute.                

COMELEC NBI THELMA BUNYI-MEDINA
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