“Itong panukalang ito ay bahagi ng buong systematikong pagsisikap ng rehimeng Duterte na magkaroon ng mas mabigat at mas masikap ng espasyo ng demokrasya.”
This is the belief of Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao on House Bill 7233, also known as the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act, which was approved by the House of Representatives on its third and final reading last May 15.
Casilao, one of the six representatives who voted against the proposal, believes that the current Administration, led by President Rodrigo Duterte, seeks to establish a police state in the Philippines.
“A police state that Duterte wants to govern in this country that is very intolerant to criticism and dissent.” Casilao said during DZRH’s One On One.
The congressman expressed his fears that the mandatory SIM card registration is an ‘added tool’ for the prosperity of the Duterte Administration’s objective.
Casilao also doubts that HB 7233 will improve crime-fighting and decrease the number of illegal activities in the Philippines.
According to the solon, other countries, particularly Australia and Canada, have implemented a mandatory SIM card registration before and, rather than become a crime-reducing tool, it caused an increase in crime-rate due to data leaks.
“Maaring leaked yung mga datus o yung information na inistore na na-bangko sa isang system kung saan ma-eexpose yung private information mo at pwedeng gamitin ng mga scruplous and criminal minds.” Casilao explained.
167 members of the Lower House of Congress voted in favor of mandating the registration of SIM cards in order to give law enforcement agencies the capability to track down criminals, who are using mobile phones.
The proposal will establish a system of sale and distribution of SIM cards in which public telecommunication entities (PTEs) will require their subscribers to register ‘pertinent data’.
PTEs are also mandated to maintain a SIM card register that will be submitted to the Department of Information and Communications Technology in every six months.