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Ronald Roy — June 9, 2016

I’ve been victimized by hackers four times. When my load balance of P 390 mysteriously disappeared from my cell phone, Smart briefly inspected the gadget in a room, then returned it replenished with a full load of P 500, cum an apology it was impossible for them to identify the thief. I had just then been initiated into the mind-blowing wonders of hyper-modern digital technology…along with such horrifying evils!

There followed three cyber thefts involving my credit card over a stretch of two years, each one showing that the thieves’ identities would forever remain unknown. The losses were taken by the bank, although somehow banks have ways of recovering such “systems losses” from their customers. But there must be a limit, I pondered, lest the world’s banking systems would collapse.

Good and evil
Most philosophers believe in the co-existence of good and evil. The kitchen knife is a handy tool for crime, just as credit cards are vincible targets of hackers, and just as we cannot appreciate good without first knowing evil. That’s life…no need to panic…just learn the art of self-protection…which takes us to whether we should boot out electronic voting machines and return to the jungle of manual counting — a likelihood if losing vice presidential candidate Bong Bong Marcos (BBM) had his way.

BBM was leading Leni Robredo by over a million votes when, in the dead of night at 3, his lead vanished and even found himself trailing her by .2 million votes! Robredo has been proclaimed winner, while BBM and his lawyers remain huddled pondering legal moves, frustrated they cannot legally prove that his votes were hacked!

Moral and legal certainties
BBM’s vexing position is: although he cannot legally prove that he was hacked, he is morally certain that he was. An example of moral certainty is: although one cannot legally prove that the defendant stole his vehicle, he can still call him a thief in his face without feeling immoral about doing so. Note that moral and legal certainties are so akin they are sometimes deemed to be one and the same.

BBM’s frustrations may be explained by this rough analogy. You leave your house with all doors locked and all CCTVs working. The CCTVs are strategically deployed inside and around the house, except that: there isn’t a single CCTV inside your bedroom where the family’s heirloom is kept. When you return hours later, you realize your house has been burglarized — or so it would seem.

Your CCTVs clearly identify a neighbor as the intruder. You’re losing three precious heirloom items, but are unable to prove he stole them. In this case, you can sue him for Trespass to Dwelling or some other felony, but not for Robbery, the same way BBM can sue the Smartmatic/Comelec intruders for offenses other than the cyber theft of his votes.

The “cyber intruders” admit to having tinkered with the transparency server purportedly to correct the Spanish letter “ñ” that appeared in some names, but deny having tampered with a single vote. Huh??? The purported correction was an absolutely flimsy reason, because the election jurisprudence on “idem sonam” (same sound) operates to validate misspelt names. Example: The candidate’s name is Paner, but his name appears on the ballot as Pañer. A vote for Pañer will count.

Whether or not Robredo knew about the digital larceny is irrelevant. Millions of aghast voters are positive about three things: 1) BBM won the vice presidency, 2) Smartmatic and Comelec cohorts will pay for their indiscretions, and 3) a clamor for a return to the jungle of manual counting will mount.

Words and deeds
Speaking of indiscretions, it’s unfortunate that careless words by President-elect Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte have embroiled himself in a tiff with media, otherwise called the “fourth branch of government” or the Fourth Estate. Justified or not, Rody shouldn’t have told media people “not to fuck with (him)” — for, they are the lords of free expression, the sentinels against abusive public servants and the vanguards of truth…not to mention their tried and tested power to topple governments.

Is Rody’s “mouth disease” curable? He could again tell some women’s group: “Screw you, girls!” But, why judge him now? We’ve heard his words, but we have yet to see his presidential deeds. After all, words and deeds make a person.

The man hasn’t taken his presidential oath of office, but already our fishermen are freely fishing in disputed waters, the enforcement of ordinances has made streets trouble-free, banned liquor at certain hours, and resulted in successful drugs-related buy-bust operations.

That’s just fine, but: how sure is the sociopathic maverick he won’t be “hacked out of office”, given that he has denigrated the Church, slammed the United Nations, disparaged women, closed out the free press, and vows to bilaterally negotiate maritime disputes with Beijing?

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo .com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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