MANILA – Senator Leila de Lima said in a Senate hearing on Thursday that her cellphone is being wiretapped. De Lima said she agrees on relaxing the law on wiretapping but cautioned against invading the privacy of individuals.
"Ayoko sana i-raise ito, matagal nang nata-tap ang aking cellphone hindi ho ba, so what purpose is being served kung ganun, terrorist ho ba ako o dahil sinabi ng iba na coddler ako, yun ho ba ang purpose kung bakit tinatap?" said De Lima during the hearing. (I did not want to raise this, but my cellphone is being wiretapped. I don't know what is the purpose of the wiretapping. Is it because I'm being considered a terrorist or because I was tagged as a drug coddler?) READ: Duterte's 'drugs matrix' tags De Lima, others
De Lima emphasized that she is in favor of amending the law as long as long as potentially scandalous matters which have no value to a criminal investigation are excluded. Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald ''Bato'' Dela Rosa, who was also present at the hearing, interjected that he suspects his cellphone is also being bugged. "I have also suspected my cellphone is wiretapped," said Dela Rosa.
Lacson asked both Dela Rosa and National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran if their agencies have the technical capability to wiretap and both said no. Lacson also reiterated during the hearing the need to downgrade the amount or quality of evidence required for a court to issue a wiretapping order. "Baka pwedeng gamitin na lang ang reasonable ground," said Lacson. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he has no objections. Among the other proposals discussed were to allow the PNP - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group the power to issue subpoenas, establish more drug rehabilitation centers, improve logistical support for handling evidence, and employ more translators for drug cases involving Chinese nationals.