MANILA - Minority senators on Thursday raised concerns over several alleged hacking incidents involving email addresses of their staff, noting a pattern to pin the political opposition for "imaginary destabilization attempts."
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV, called on Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to look into the reported hacking incidents.
Those allegedly breached were email addresses of Pangilinan's and Aquino's staff, and official email addresses used to release media statements for the Liberal Party and Pangilinan, its president.
"The nature of the breach in all instances is the same: Unauthorized users sent emails using the staff and party addresses," the senators said.
They said the hacking incidents "seem to form part of a pattern to pin the political opposition for imaginary destabilization attempts."
"These are cause for concern as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II spearheaded the creation of the Citizen National Guard, which says that dissent is destabilization," the statement read.
"Let us be clear. There is no destabilization plot. Dissent is not destabilization. Dissent is indispensable in a democracy."
Last week, Solicitor General Jose Calida warned of a "black operation" against President Rodrigo Duterte, involving “yellows, whites, reds” and even the clergy.
“There is a black operation or black ops right now against President Duterte and they can come in various forms and colors, yellow to white and now there are also reds coming in, and also members of the clergy are also joining the fray," he said.
But Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he and military officials had no knowledge of such alleged plots.