Palace cites NPC on ‘Comeleak’ finding, chides Comelec

Malacanang on Friday, Jan. 6, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should come clean to maintain its credibility following an adverse finding by the National Privacy Commission (NPC) on the hacking of Comelec’s voter database – dubbed as “Comeleak” — weeks before the May 2016 national elections.

Presidential Communications Office secretary Martin Andanar

Presidential Communications Office secretary Martin Andanar

“We exhort that Comelec release a report of an investigation it conducted on the data leak, if any, to maintain the credibility of the constitutional body and uphold the integrity of the electoral process,” Presidential Communications Office (PCO) secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.

Last Thursday, Jan. 5, the NPC issued a decision finding the Comelec guilty of violating the provisions of the Data Privacy Act following the hacking of the Comelec’s voter database in March last year. It also recommended the filing of criminal charges against poll body chief Andres Bautista for gross negligence.

The NPC, however, said the hacking of the Comelec database did not affect the outcome of the elections.

“The Comeleak has been described as one of the worst breaches of a government-controlled database. Thus it is an issue that simply cannot be swept under the rug,” Andanar said.

“Comelec should come clean and hold itself accountable for the millions of data that became susceptible to risks such as identity theft and fraud,” he added. Andanar echoed the NPC statement that the Comelec should not only protect the vote but “it must protect the voter as well.”

He said the NPC should be commended for taking the side of the people whose privacy has been violated. “Let us put an end to election-related maneuverings and ensure that any attempt to subvert the people’s will, no matter how sophisticated, will not succeed,” Andanar said. – PNA

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