The Manila Bulletin (MB) will comply with an order issued by the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to attend a “clarificatory meeting” on Jan. 25, 2022, where it will present pieces of evidence it was able to obtain regarding the alleged breach of Commission on Election (Comelec) servers.
“We are also abiding by an NPC order not to disclose the pieces of evidence that were shared with us by a source on Jan. 8, 2022, in the NPC’s Jan. 25 meeting,” MB Technews Editor Art Samaniego, Jr. said on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
The NPC earlier issued an order, asking the Comelec and Samaniego to attend a clarificatory meeting on Jan. 25, 2022, to shed light on the alleged hacking and data breach of the poll agency’s servers.
Comelec Chair Sheriff Abas dismissed as “fake news” the MB report, which came out on Jan. 10, 2022, that 60 gigabytes of data were downloaded by a group of hackers that could affect the May 2022 elections.
In an interview on CNN Philippines also on Wednesday, Abas said it was “impossible” to hack information that was non-existent, and that the data that will be configured into the vote-counting machines (VCMs) were still to be entered into the system on Jan. 15.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, in a tweet, likewise branded the report as “fake,” and “untrue.”
It could be recalled that in March 2016, hackers were able to breach and deface the Comelec website while leaving a message that it should undertake tighter measures to protect the VCMs.
Just hours later, another hacker group posted an online link that was claimed to store the entire database of the poll agency.
The 2016 incident was also investigated by the NPC as it threatened the information of 55 million Filipino voters.