By GABRYELLE DUMALAG
MANILA – A progressive partylist is seeking an investigation into the cyberattacks against independent news websites Bulatlat and Altermidya, and human rights group Karapatan.
Bayan Muna Partylist filed House Resolution 1918 today June 28 to ask the House of Representatives through the Committee on Information and Communications Technology to conduct an investigation on the involvement of the Philippine Army and tge Department of Science and Technology on the recent cyberattacks.
“The use of government resources to finance such attacks to news sites and human rights organizations is condemnable. It is a threat to free speech and democracy, and, a blatant misuse of public funds, thus, making it illegal. It bears all the hallmarks of a tyrannical campaign versus government critics and the media,” the resolution read.
In its findings, digital experts from Sweden-based Qurium traced the attacks to DOST and the Philippine Army.
The DOST earlier denied any hand in the cyber-attacks directed at alternative media outlets, citing that other government agencies use their IP addresses and that their involvement is “unfounded and patently false.”
In response, Altermidya and Bulatlat urged DOST to conduct its own investigation on the use of their IP, make its findings available to the public, and do its part in stopping the cyberattacks apparently perpetrated by the Philippine Army.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the Armed Forces of the Philippines was once flagged by social media giant Facebook to be behind Pages that have coordinated inauthentic behavior. These Pages were taken down. They then filed House Resolution 1900 that sought an investigation on the purported troll farms that are publicly funded.
“As lawmakers, it is our duty to ensure that public funds are used judiciously for the benefit of the people, and not used to violate their civil and political rights enshrined in our Constitution,” the resolution read.
The Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU), for its part, also denounced the cyberattacks, demanding accountability from the Philippine Army, the DOST, and other parties that were responsible for this incident.
They also urged the DOST “to conduct a probe on the malicious use of its resources and reveal the entity behind the IP range under its jurisdiction instead of washing its hands of its role in the cyberattacks.”