MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hackers who call themselves “Concerned Filipino Citizens” defaced the website of the government censorship body Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in protest of the political advertisement that used children to attack presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
The hackers did not categorically name the attack ad paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. But it coincides with online criticisms against MTRCB after television network ABS-CBN aired the controversial ad that showed clips of Duterte cursing, uttering his controversial rape remark, and saying he is ready to kill. In between these clips, children criticize Duterte for his behavior.
Presidential candidate Grace Poe, who is a former MTRCB chairman, was quoted in a report saying the attack ad would pass her standards for truthfulness. She said some vulgarity may be acceptable if it has a redeeming value.
Political advertisements are not screened by the MTRCB or by any other government body, however. ABS-CBN maintained that the political advertisement was reviewed by its ethics committee, which declared that it was compliant with election laws.
The message posted by the hackers on the website homepage reads: “Anong nangyari sa taga monitor, taga-salang at taga-bantay ng mga ipinopost sa TV at sa print media? (What happened to the organization that was supposed to monitor and check what’s being posted on TV and print media?).”
It added: “Ginawa itong MTRCB para magsilbing taga-implementa ng ‘FAIR AND UNBIASED’ reporting ng mga TV, print and movie industry pero nagsawalang-kibo (literal, they turned a BLIND EYE) to that malicious political mud-slinging ad. (The MTRCB was created to implement ‘FAIR and UNBIASED’ reporting on TV, print, and the movie industry but they literally turned a BLIND EYE to the malicious political mud-slinging ad.)”
“Anu pang silbi mo MTRCB? Isa ka din ba sa mga simpleng nagpapalamon sa pera ng bayan? (What are you there for, MTRCB? Have you also been corrupted by taxpayers’ money?)
The hackers called on the next president to impose stricter censor laws for the media.
As of 7pm, the MTRCB website has been restored.
MTRCB Public Advisory (07 May 2016) pic.twitter.com/D0tnnsanqS— MTRCB (@MTRCBgov) May 7, 2016
Meanwhile, another hackers group, the Anonymous Philippines, challenged Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista to act on reported cases of electoral fraud supposedly involving Overseas Absentee Voting machines.
One of its members, Paul Biteng, was arrested for hacking the Comelec website. Biteng claimed he only defaced the website and was not responsible for leaking the personal data of over 50 million Filipino voters. (READ: Fresh grad, 23, admits hacking Comelec site)
The group wrote: “You said Paul ‘should have informed the COMELEC of the vulnerabilities of the website instead of hacking it…. Now we dare you”.
“There were reported cases of electoral fraud during the conduct of the Overseas Absentee Voting and anomalies during the testing and final sealing of the Vote Counting Machines (VCM’s), notwithstanding these reports, the COMELEC failed to inform the public of the actions taken to investigate, correct, or avert poll cheating.”
The group called on Comelec to assure the people that their votes on May 9 will be secured and will be protected. – Rappler.com