Minority senators alarmed over hacking of email accounts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 12) — Minority senators called out attempts to hack some of their staff's email accounts to send out anti-Duterte statements.

"We in the political opposition are seriously concerned about several hacking incidents concerning the email addresses of our staff from the offices of Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Bam Aquino, and just now the official email addresses for releasing media statements of Sen. Pangilinan and the Liberal Party," a Thursday statement from the Senate minority bloc read.

Aquino showed screenshots of Yahoo! and GMail of some of his and Pangilinan's staff email accounts. He said messages not written by any of their team members appeared in their draft folders.

Incident_2_CNNPH.jpg One of the hacking incidents, as captured by Sen. Aquino.  

The subject lines of some of the e-mails read, "Leaked Plan to Destroy PRRD" and "Investigation on DDS".

A staff of Pangilinan also had his e-mail account used to send a message to the Government Service Insurance System.

The minority senators said these incidents have been reported to the National Bureau of Investigation's Cybercrime Division.

They said the incidents are part of a pattern to pin opposition figures to alleged destabilization plots.

"Nakikita po natin ngayon na 'yan 'yung narratives ng mga pro-Duterte bloggers, 'yan din po 'yung narrative ni Secretary (Vitaliano) Aguirre, ng ibang miyembro ng administrasyon na meron daw destabilization plot at 'yung oposisyon ay kasama dito," Aquino told reporters Thursday.

[Translation: We see the similar narrative with pro-Duterte bloggers, Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, and other administration personnel saying there is a destabilization plot and that the political opposition is part of it.]

Justice Secretary Aguirre earlier claimed there were "destabilization efforts" to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. 

The minority said they hope the administration doesn't have a hand in this false flag attack, as democracy ensures dissenting voices are not being harassed to silence.

"There is no destabilization plot. Dissent is not destabilization. Dissent is indispensable in a democracy," the statement read.