When the Philippine election arm had it’s 55 million voters info breached

It took almost a month for the national news to report seriously the breach which includes 55 million adult Filipino voters around the world.

I was paranoid (and still somehow) when I learned that a website created a search engine which posted our voter’s registration information. I did the unadvisable: searched my name. People are telling me not to share the link and search my name. But I did. And I found my data! Full name, birthdate, home address, registration date, voter’s identification number, and probably my fingerprints. For some new voters, it might have their passport numbers.

As a voter since 2007, it took me years to realize how incompetent and insensitive our government’s election arm is. I thought it was only an isolated case in ARMM last 2013 when one of my fellow novices had his voting sheet shaded by a watcher and the soldiers guarding the precint outside the school just let the incident unapprehended. This is one of the most serious blunder that the COMELEC allowed.

Even the hacking happened last March 27, the COMELEC (Commission on Election) is still in denial for three weeks even as far as saying that the data hacked are not that serious. Hello? Do they even realize that they, the COMELEC officials, themselves are at the risk of having their identities stolen. Even President Aquino’s data is there in the open (I know this because I searched for his name). When our government is not doing it’s job to protect it’s citizens, at least in the cyberworld, what can an ordinary citizen like me do?

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When our government is seeding our data, what can we do?

These are some possible scenarios (at least for myself): With a cyber thief who have stolen my identity, our hone might receive stuffs like Shakey’s pizzas, Jollibee meal, or gadgets named after me which I never ordered and my family is asked to pay for it.

For the unlucky ones who had their passport numbers included in the registration, identity theft is a more serious threat.

The only defensive measure I did so far was to report to CloudFare and GoDaddy the search engine who leaked the files for the “lulz”.

This is one of the few times I would be ranting here in this blog.

And for the love of my country, I would use this frustration towards the COMELEC as my motivation to educate students to admit their faults, take responsibility, and understand what power and service to others means.

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A bittersweet week for Mindanao

Last week, I went to General Santos City, the hometown of Manny Pacquiao. I went there not because I’m his relative (though some would insist I’m a dead ringer of the champ). Pacquiao’s victory is good news for us Filipinos who have been to some bad experiences since March 26 (start of the two-day forest fire in Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country.

When I stayed with my relatives’ house for more than a week, aside from experiencing the oven-like temperature of GenSan (with maximum index of 40 degrees Celsius average). I have all the time to watch news and entertainment in the television. There was an ugly incident with protesters who blocked a national highway in Kidapawan City. They were complaining about the insufficient support from the government to farmers suffering from drought because of El Niño. It turned into a bloody dispersal, leaving some protesters dead and plenty wounded with some cops in ICU because of mauling. Reports said that the farmers were mixed with communist propagandists with their own agenda. The leaders or the protest organizers needs to be held responsible. Of course, the PNP must be held accountable too of their failed “maximum tolerance”. Somehow, this is an indication of the indifference of ” some” public officials.

Good news here in the Kidapawan incident is that private sectors outpoured their support towards the plight of these poor farmers. Some peacekeepers negotiated between the police and the farmers, telling the latter not to block the highwamotivatese midst of incompetence in the part of public officials, many from the private sector and showing concern not for their own agenda but because they want to help the poor farmers who are affected by the dry spell. This should be a wake up call for aspiring candidates who will take the seats in the government. Their power must be their means go serve the people particularly the oppressed sector of our society such as the farmers.

This social problems motivate me to push through in working in the education sector. I must remember that I am responsible in molding the consciences of future politicians, farmers, policemen, and peacekeepers.

Readers and WordPress, Salamat (Thanks)

4 years of blogging now. I still remember January 2011 when I am…

  1. Struggling what to write
  2. Posting about anything
  3. Writing “for practice blogging purposes only”

Now that I am a 4 year-old WordPress-er, I would like to thank the readers whom I don’t know personally… yet.

I know it might sound creepy but I would like to meet you guys in person. I’m not a native English speaker but I will try to (struggle) understanding you talk when we finally meet. I want to know your stories offline.

Where? I don’t know. Meet me here in the Philippines or when I go to your country, send me a PM in the Contact form and I’ll try to ask Google on what place where we’ll meet.

It might happen or not and I’m just wishfully thinking it will.

And finally, thank you WordPress and I hope you’ll stay online a hundred more years or more!

Maraming salamat po!

Brain Drain and poverty

It’s sad to think that in our country, the people who are rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. This March, there would be an estimated 0.7 million tertiary graduates in the country. Is there enough job openings for them considering that the unemployment rate in the country remains a problem?

I know there’s a lot of quality graduates produced every year as well as quality professionals who are currently serving the country. But it’s sad to think that a lot of these people choose to go abroad to improve their current economic situation as the salary in other countries offers more than what we have here in the country. You cannot blame them for choosing to seek greener pasture in other countries. This brain drain is slowly affecting country.

Speaking of OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), I have another question to raise—if you take away all the OFW remittances, what would happen in our Third World status economy?

Personally, I experienced underemployment for a year before I entered the Marist Brothers. I have experienced the competitive job market against people with good connections and people with better qualifications than me. To get a job, I think it often falls down with the people whom you know.

Going back, I still believe that there is still hope and I really want to believe that there is still hope in the country. We need to do something against poverty. No one should be left behind. It’s not just the government that needs to act. We, the Filipino people are the ones that should start the solution. Thanks to the Non-Government Officials (NGO) and missionary workers, as they are finding ways to ease the problem. Let’s not wait for foreign countries to help us. We need to help ourselves first. Yes, there is still hope.

The 26th People Power Revolution

via Wikimedia.org

Today, the Philippines celebrates the 26th anniversary of EDSA Revolution. It was a peaceful uprising of the Filipino people against the dictatorship rule that governed the country for more than 20 years.

To celebrate the historic event, below are three versions of Bayan Ko, the unofficial theme of the People Power Revolution. Click them if you want to listen and it will open a new tab.

via Philstar.com