Friday, September 7, 2007

Vidal Doble Fingers Smart and Globe In Philippine Senate Investigation of Hello Garci Wiretapping

THE PHILIPPINE SENATE has just concluded its first hearing into the Hello Garci Wiretapping scandal, following the re-emergence of a vital witness and resource person, in the person of a former agent of the Intelligence Services of the AFP. There were at least two new revelations by the whistleblower Vidal Doble Jr., namely (1) the role played by a certain "Medy" --identified by Senator Panfilo Lacson as Undersecretary Remedios Poblador, a close personal confidante of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, including the handling of his wife Arlene and children Danica and Darren from Kidapawan City; (2) the role played by mobile telephone service providers Smart and Globe Telecommunications in the wiretapping/monitoring Operation Lighthouse.
[This post includes audio of the proceedings and links to many Philippine Commentaries].
An interesting position Vidal Doble seems to have taken under near-badgering questions from Senator Dick Gordon is that he and his comrades at Isafp were really just "monitoring" conversations that were being switched to them by "assets" of the Isafp within the two service providers Smart and Globe Telecommunications. There is the suggestion that it is those assets and Doble's superiors who ought to be regarded as doing the actual wiretapping.

I think this has some conceptual merit, since the Mig21 teams of Operation Lighthouse, including Doble's own D-Team, were doing little more than listening in on conversations as they were being recorded onto the Memory Simms of Nokia Model 3600 cell phones, downloading the same onto a personal computer, making transcripts of them and then submitting them to higher authority.


AUDIO OF SENATE WIRETAPPING HEARING AT US INTERNET ARCHIVE (6 PARTS)

Flash and Lo Fi Versions

Part One (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Part Two (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Part Three (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Part Four (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Part Five (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Part Six (Flash) Lo Fi MP3

Here are Philippine Commentaries on this issue from the last two hair-raising years of observing the Hello Garci Wiretapping Scandal:

Chiz to Miriam: Nego Supositum!
National Security is the Highest National Interest

The Wire Tapping. The Wire Tapping!
Was the Adam and Eve of All Tapes Digital?
Overhearing the Palace Thinking
Rope-a-Dope Trap: Garci as Poisoned Pawn?
Fingerprinting the Human Voice
Judas Goat On Top Of Mount Pinatubo
Supreme Court Will Now Rule in Garci's Favor
Stunning Break in Gloriagate Controversy
Fourteen Soldiers Are Hostages of ISAFP
Long Live the Anti Wire Tapping Law!
The Right to Privacy and the Public's Right to Know
Only the Opposition Can Save GMA
Dilemma of the Poisoned Fruits
Freedom and Garci's Second Petition

UPDATE: The Nokia Mobile Phone Model 3600 is apparently capable of directly recording telephone conversations as found in this Tutorial:
How do I use the recorder on my Nokia phone?
Go to Menu > Extras > Recorder.

Options in Recorder are:

  • Open
  • Record sound clip
  • Delete
  • Move to phone mem
  • Move to mem. card
  • Rename sound clip
  • Add to Favorites
  • Send
  • Help
  • Exit

The voice recorder allows you to record telephone conversations and voice memos. If you are recording a telephone conversation, both parties will hear a tone every five seconds during recording.

Note: When using this feature, obey all laws and respect the privacy and legitimate rights of others.

Select Options > Record sound clip and scroll to a function and press to select it.

Note: Recorder cannot be used when a data call or a General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) connection is active.

That many mobile phone models have this feature certainly opens up a lot of people to casual eavesdropping and "wiretapping". Even though this model says it beeps every five seconds while recording is going on, if one party is not aware that you own a Model 3600 that can do recording, why, "wiretapping" could become a fad around here!

Philippine Commentary readers, especially from North America should note a big difference in the wiretapping controversies currently ongoing in the two countries. Whereas the wiretapping controversy in the US has to do with intelligence gathering for the Global War on Terror, the controversy that has engulfed the Arroyo administration has to do with spying for partisan political purposes during the 2004 elections.

Both are of course important national security issues, but they are of a totally different nature.

I am personally very pleased that the Hello Garci scandal has come to be seen as a national security issue, as seen in the fact that it is the Senate Defense Committee under Senator Rodolfo Biazon that is the lead investigating committee in the Philippine wiretapping controversy. I hope it will lead to major reforms in the Armed Forces of the Philippines intelligence gathering operations, which should really be dedicating 100% of its resources to fighting the twin insurgencies of the CPP NPA and the MILF-MNLF-ASG-JI, and not wasting them on entirely immoral and possibly treasonous partisan political activities.

We do not yet know where the trail will now lead from Vidal Doble. But whatever happens, we must uphold the principle that high Offices of the Govt are absolutely distinct from their tenants, and that the highest national priority must be given to national security.

For this reason, I salute Sen. Biazon most especially, for rising above all partisan or even institutional interest in calling for ALL agencies and branches of the government, and all Filipinos whether in or out of government to cooperate fully in the endeavour to get to the bottom of the wiretapping scandal.

It is simply unacceptable that the Commander in Chief of the Republic has been wiretapped along with other high officials and private persons. It is likewise unacceptable that mobile phone service providers are possibly facilitating such espionage.

As for Vidal Doble, if indeed he is telling the truth, there is the further matter of electoral fraud during the 2004 elections. His revelation that he and his fellow agents and "everyone at Isafp" became aware of amazing conversations between the President and Virgilio Garcillano tending to prove there was massive cheating during those elections is a matter of grave concern that could lead to political turbulence in the near future.


It is ominous that a close personal confidante of the President, Remedios Poblador has been implicated by no less that Bishop Socrates Villegas and Oscar V. Cruz, in the "Bahay Pari" incident after a standoff at the San Carlos Seminary. As Sen Ping Lacson said, this could lead the investigation right to the gates of the Palace
.

4 comments:

cvj said...

DJB, thanks for the coverage! Just one minor detail, i don't think conversations can be recorded on the SIMMS. They are probably just capturing them as they leave unencrypted from the telco equipment. I read somewhere that within Telco premises, there is a point where the phone conversations are in the clear.

DJB Rizalist said...

Hi CVJ,
Check my update. The Model 3600 can record telephone conversations!

john marzan said...

hmmm, sino kaya ang hiningi-an ng advice ni bishop soc sa paggawa ng sulat nya para sa senado? tinulungan kaya siya ng taga-admin?

btw, the link to the "Part Six (Flash) Lo Fi MP3" is broken. sa hthttp.

DJB Rizalist said...

john,
soc's letter came through senator noynoy aquino, presumably through cory?

i fixed the link btw thanks.