The fresh IT graduate who got arrested for allegedly hacking the Comelec website may face up to 60 years in prison.
After finding a probable cause, Manila Prosecutor's Office approved the three charges filed against 23-year-old hacker Paul Biteng —illegal access, data interference and illegal use of device.
Ideally, each offense corresponds to six to 12 years of jail term. However, Paul's case is quite different, given that the crime involved the Comelec, which is considered a "critical infrastructure."
Chief Inquest Prosecutor Jovencio Senados told Inquirer that doing a crime against a "critical infrastructure" may up the case to 20 years per offense, amounting to 60 years behind bars.
“When you commit a crime against critical infrastructures, the penalty will go [up] one degree higher. The Comelec is considered a critical infrastructure, especially now during the election period,” he said.
However, he may be bailed with P600, 000 which corresponded to P200, 000 for each of the charges.
Biteng said that he hacked the website out of boredom, while implying a political statement.
In March, Comelec has been receiving flak for refusing to implement four safety features on the vote-counting machines. They also fought against printing vote receipts.
According to Republic Act (RA) 939 or the Automated Election Law, the safety measures mentioned are as follows: ballot verification or ultra violet detectors, the source code review, the voter verified paper audit trail and the digital signature
READ ALSO: Boredom led to 'Comeleak'
However, not all officials are keen to see the hacker behind bars. Senator Ralph Rector said that the hacker should be hired instead of just wasting the hacker's talent.
READ ALSO: Senator says to hire the Comelec hackers