Philippines arrests tech graduate suspected of hacking poll body's website

By Reuters   April 21, 2016 | 04:11 am PT
Philippines arrests tech graduate suspected of hacking poll body's website
Presidential candidate senator Grace Poe throws campaign material to her supporters during a motorcade rally at Las Pinas city, south of Manila April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Philippine law enforcers have arrested an information technology graduate on charges of hacking the website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), officials said on Thursday, less than three weeks before a presidential election that could be very close.

The May 9 election will be watched by investors, who fear the political succession in one of Asia's fastest growing economies could derail gains made during President Benigno Aquino's six-year single term.

The arrested man had defaced the public information website of the poll commission, its chairman, Andres Bautista, told a news briefing.

"He hacked the web site because he wanted the Comelec to comply with all the provisions of the law," Bautista said.

The election results would be uploaded onto a separate site, not the one that was hacked, he said.

An official of the National Bureau of Investigation, Virgilio Mendez, said authorities were pursuing two more suspects involved in the hacking.

"There will be a continuous effort to unravel everything," Mendez told the same briefing.

About 54 million people in the country of 100 million are eligible to vote to choose a president, vice president and more than 18,000 local government executives and lawmakers in the elections, which take place every six years.

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