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Order to suspend cell signal in Quiapo supported, criticized

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Netizens react online, citing different reasons

MANILA, Philippines – Government’s order to telephone companies to switch off their signals in the Quiapo area to thwart off a supposed terror threat got mixed reactions from netizens on Monday, January 9.

A number said it was better for government to err on the side of caution, saying it’s a necessary tradeoff for security. This ran counter to the sentiments of a consumer group TXTPower, which expressed alarm over government’s decision to suspend services.

Others said it would make communication during an emergency situation impossible.

Malacañang on Monday confirmed it had asked the Top 3 telecommunication providers — PLDT, Globe Telecom, and Digitel — to temporarily suspend cellphone services in the Quiapo district as a precautionary measure during the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Press Undersecretary Abigail Valte said this was a result of a supposed agreement with telcos on Sunday, January 8, when President Benigno Aquino III announced a terror threat aimed at disrupting the Black Nazarene procession, expected to draw millions nationwide. For details see full story here

This is the first time telecommunication firms in the Philippines were asked to suspend cellular services in Metro Manila for security reasons.

We asked Rappler followers on Twitter what they thought about this decision.

Most responses agreed it was better for government to err on the side of caution:

Others, on the other hand, criticized the decision, saying it curtailed a basic need: to communicate in times of a crisis.

Others believe that precautions such as this will not stop terrorists. 

What about you? Do you think this measure is warranted? Is it a necessary security precaution? Or is it just a bane to businesses and users alike? –


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