[Mirror] Penalba, Angelica April

Summer 2012

Scarborough Shoal, the next ONGPIN???

An alarming news came out about few weeks ago, were apparently hackers from China defaced the official website of the University of the Philippines, where the said site featured a photo depicting China’s territorial claim of the Spratly Islands, particularly the Scarborough Shoal (or Huangyan Island), which has been the subject of a recent standoff between Chinese and Philippine naval forces.


Obviously, this alleged act of China is considered as Hacking under the Philippine law. Now the question is, how can the Philippine government make China liable, if this issue would have been proven?

Under Section 33-a of Republic Act No. 8792 or the “Electronic Commerce Act of 2000”, hacking is defined as:

“(a) Hacking or crackling with refers to unauthorized access into or interference in a computer system/server or information and communication system; or any access in order to corrupt, alter, steal, or destroy using a computer or other similar information and communication devices, without the knowledge and consent of the owner of the computer or information and communications system, including the introduction of computer viruses and the like, resulting in the corruption, destruction, alteration, theft or loss of electronic data messages or electronic documents…”(R.A. No. 8792)

The problem is that the act was committed by foreign citizen/s in the foreign land. Moreover, as far as the prevailing jurisprudence in Rustan Ang vs. Court of Appeals is concerned, which was decided on 20 April 2010, the applicability covered by the “Rules on Electronic Evidence” excludes the rule with respect to criminal proceedings.

Clearly, Philippines has no particular law governing such act making China criminally liable. However, since the issue involves two different countries, on my opinion, International Court of Justice as well as the United Nations shall have the jurisdiction over the matter, where both Philippines and China are signatories to said international organization. Having said that, one of the remedies to consider is the COOPERATION of both parties pertaining the issue at hand. In addition to this, considering the fact that both countries are members of the United Nation where PEACE between and among members is the main objective, might as well go diplomatic and let the authorities decide about the territorial jurisdiction over the Scarborough Shoal.

You’re hired… este FIRED!

In our present world where the internet plays a vital role in our lives because most of our transactions can be executed by using such, should social media and internet tools be essential in the acceptance of an applicant? Can companies and/or institutions use internet search tools and access to social media accounts in determining the most suitable candidates for the vacant position?

What is social media? Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation such as Facebook, Twitter, and Printerest. These sites are fun to use because people can easily share ideas, photos, videos, likes and dislikes with the world at large – and find out what they think of them People can find friends, business contacts and become part of a community or a bunch of different communities. Social media gives people what TV never could – a chance to be engaged and engage others. (Susan Ward)

If I were to ask about the same question above mentioned, my answer is NO because of these following provisions:

  • Section 3.1 Article 3 of 1987 Philippine Constitution, which provides that privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law.
  • Section 4 Article 3 of 1987 Philippine Constitution, which provides that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.

A person’s right to privacy and freedom of speech will be violated if in case a person will not be hired or be fired by a company because of his Facebook or Twitter account. These account are created to exercise such rights. Moreover, these sites cannot be the sole qualification or disqualification of an employee. It is more important to an employee possess the needed educational background, intelligence and competence that a company needs to have.

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