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Davao City, Philippines

Davao Region Police FB account hacked

July 16, 2019 - Tuesday 2:07 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image TIGHT SECURITY. The hacking of PRO 11’s Facebook account comes as security forces gear up for the Kadayawan Festival in August. Arjoy M. Ceniza

DAVAO CITY -- Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 director Police Brigadier General Marcelo Morales on Monday revealed that the official Facebook account of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 had been hacked in June, forcing the office to create a new one.

Morales said there was an unauthorized intrusion into the PRO’s official FB account, PULIS REHIYON ONSE, by some malicious individuals.

Morales said all posts from June 3 up to the present are not official posts of PRO 11 since the password of the Pulis Rehiyon Onse FB account was broken into by hackers.

“The incident is an obvious intent by criminals to hinder Police Regional Office 11 from building a stronger and better relationship with the community through online communication towards expansion and enhancement of police service,” Morales said.

PRO 11 spokesperson Police Major Jason Baria, for his part, said the account has actually been inaccessible for viewing since June 3.

Di na namin mabuksan yong FB then kinabukasan di na siya ma-view,” Baria added.

(First we couldn’t open the account, then the following day it could no longer be viewed.)

The PRO 11’s Facebook account is different from its page named “Police Regional Office 11 Page,” which is still active.

Baria also told MDM that hacking incident is not related to terrorism.

“Our suspicion was that it was related to the series of our upload activities against fraudulent investment scheme that started May 29 to June 1,2019,” he said.

Morales said PRO 11 created a new account on June 7 named PULIS REHIYON ONSE II, the only difference being the “II” at the end.

“We will continue to serve you better with a more engaging interaction and conversation with your police as we are always ready to listen to your stand or opinion on issues affecting peace and order,” he said.

He said the new FB account will also showcase the activities as well as administrative and operational accomplishments.

It will also provide advisories so that netizens will know and learn their roles in crime prevention.

Morales said for now, PRO 11 is adopting best practices to lessen the vulnerability of its online accounts, website, and page to hacking and other cyber crimes.

Morales said the PRO 11’s Anti- Crime Unit is tracking down the suspects of the incident and they are now on further investigation.

Hacking is deemed an illegitimate form of public expression by Philippine Law. It is a crime punishable under the E-Commerce Act of 2000 or Republic Act 8792 by a fine of at least P100,000 and a mandatory imprisonment of six months to three years.

In 2018, three of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s) websites were also compromised by hackers: the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in August and the PNP Foundation, Inc. and Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (PNP-DPRM) in October.