Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Big Brother Is Listening

PNP can do wiretaps, text intercepts'

Last week's discovery of the electronic surveillance equipment in the telephone junction box leading to former president Corazon Aquino's Quezon City home has brought speculations that the government is monitoring its critics.
While the Philippine National Police said that the device suspected of monitoring Mrs. Aquino appeared to be crude and easy to install, probers have yet to provide answers to questions on who might have installed it.
According to an informant, the PNP should not look far because it has eavesdroppers of its own.
"Nestor" of the police Intelligence Group said the PNP is capable of conducting wiretapping operations. He told ABS-CBN's "Bandila" newscast Tuesday that in fact, the PNP has been conducting surveillance operations on politicians and even civilians.
The informant debunked statements of Senior Superintendent Edgar Iglesias of the PNP's Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response that the group does not conduct wiretapping operations.
He said the PNP has been eavesdropping on criminals and terrorists for nearly 20 years.
Nestor, who said he is a wiretapping expert, said aside from wiretapping, the PNP can also intercept "text messages" sent through mobile phones.
He said the surveillance operations such as those he mentioned were initially used against suspected kidnappers and terrorists.
These days, however, wiretapping and monitoring text messages are also used against activists and politicians to extort money or to blackmail them.
He added that the PNP’s surveillance operations are sometimes "commissioned" or used by "well-connected people."
Ricardo Ayeras, a suspected terrorist detained and later released by the PNP, had told Bandila that those who arrested him admitted that they are capable of wiretapping and intercepting text messages.
Ayeras was released after police failed to pin him as a terrorist.
On Wednesday last week, linemen of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company discovered a surveillance equipment attached to the junction box near Mrs. Aquino's home on Times Street in Barangay West Triangle.
Re-electionist Sen. Panfilo Lacson accused the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) of installing the device to eavesdrop on Mrs. Aquino's conversations. The former president is a leading critic of President Arroyo.
Lacson said his source, whose identity he refused to reveal, told him that ISAFP was behind the incident.
The senator, who is the former head of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, said PAOCTF and ISAFP used the same listening device when they monitored kidnap-for-ransom groups. ABS-CBN news

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

free web counter
free web counter