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Why blame Bautista?

Before the past year ended, Social Weather Stations came out with a survey that said eight out of 10 Filipinos lived in fear that they or their friends could be the next in President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.

This clearly shows a climate of fear prevailing in the country!

But now comes another survey that says eight out of 10 Filipinos trust and approve of the President. Aren’t these surveys contradictory? How can people trust the President and yet live in fear at the same time?

I am not an expert, but I know that survey results depend on the questions themselves. This is why I think there must be a law governing surveys. Aside from the results, survey takers should also publish the actual questions they asked the respondents.

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The so-called Comeleaks, where information on some 55-million voters were hacked in March last year, again made newspaper headlines a couple of weeks ago.

Actually, it was on December 29, 2016 that the Commission on Elections received the National Privacy Commission decision saying it had violated the Data Privacy Act of 2012. It also said that Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista committed a criminal act.

Because of this decision there was talk that the chairman could be impeached if he is found guilty.

But why indict the Comelec for the hacking of its Web site when it was the victim? And why single out the chairman when the agency is composed of seven commissioners? It is a collegial body and the chairman merely implements its decisions.

Records show that in the wake of data breach and hacking as a worldwide phenomenon, the Comelec was already following generally accepted standards and international best practices with regard to technology-related activities and services.

Records also show that in preparation for the May 2016 elections, specifically to prevent security breaches, the Comelec created a Task Force specifically to look into the website breach, designate Comelec resource persons to the NPC, instruct the executive director to comply with the reportorial requirements of the Data Privacy Act, and finally create and maintain a Voter Care Center.

In other words, the Comelec en banc showed good faith to the NPC by filing compliance reports as early as May 2015 with the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology- Information and Communications Technology Office, in coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation.

What strikes me as strange is that the NPC says Chairman Bautista has sole responsibility for the data breach. But while these are important topics, they are best left to information technology experts. The Comelec is, after all, managed by seven lawyers.

I thus ask these questions on the logic of the NPC decision. If the IT specialists in Comelec are not found liable under the Data Privacy Act, what more the officials who merely oversee their work? So, if as Chairmam Bautista asks, there is a breach of the Supreme Court’s web site, will Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno be liable?

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Santa Banana, here we go again!

Last year, amid President bloody war against illegal drugs, Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa also vowed to go after illegal gambling operators nationwide. They knew that drug lords are also gambling lords.

According to findings, illegal gambling is as pervasive and deeply rooted as illegal drugs. It has likewise corrupted local and national officials.

Now we again hear the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government saying they would go after the illegal gamblers who deprive the government of much needed revenue. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Small-Town Lottery was supposed to replace illegal gambling, but now it is as corrupt as ever.

Gambling operators are so brazen that in many localities, the winnings are broadcast three times a day. I am told parish priests get donations from such activities.

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Last year, President Duterte tagged businessman Roberto V. Ongpin as an oligarch that must be destroyed. Ongpin resigned as chairman of PhilWeb.

But Ongpin is no oligarch. In fact, he was persecuted for years by the Aquino administration.

Now Ongpin is pushing through with his plan for a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center in Atimonan, Quezon. It will be supported by the Balesin Island Club. Atimonan also has the big advantage of being reachable by land from Manila.

My gulay, if all those affluent Filipinos mentioned in Forbes Magazine would just do the same, we would have more than enough rehabilitation centers.

Bobby was my student at Ateneo High School. I am proud to have been his teacher. He is a businessman who believes in giving back to society and sharing his gifts to people.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Why blame Bautista? , Social Weather Stations , President Rodrigo Duterte , war on illegal drugs , Comeleaks , Commission on Elections , Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista , National Privacy Commission , Data Privacy Act of 2012 , Philippine National Po
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