MALACANANG slammed Saturday hacker activists or "hacktivists" who

crashed the website of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) last Friday when the nation marked its 117th Independence Day.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said hacking into any website to protest against the government does not necessarily make one a responsible citizen exercising his right to freedom of speech.

"Whatever the message is, we cannot condone the hacking of any website… Kumbaga, 'yung karapatan ng isang mamamayan na itanong sa kanyang pamahalaan kung ano na ba ang nagagawa sa isang bagay ay kailangang na-e-express within the limits provided by the Constitution and within the law," she said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Hacking the NHCP website, the so-called Global Security Hackers group posted a message questioning the efforts rendered by President Benigno Aquino III in his five years in office.

Claiming that they have been observing the President carefully over the past five years, the hackers asked whether he has done enough for the country by improving its economy, or if he just made it worse like what his predecessors had allegedly done.

They also sought answers from the Aquino regarding his pledge to end corruption in government, as well as updates in the ongoing quest for justice for the 44 slain police commandos in the Mamasapano clash last January 25.

Valte said she was hoping the group did not resort to illicit means of protest such as hacking just to get their message across, as there had been many ways to reach the government these days, especially since most officials and agencies have verified social media accounts.

"Kailangan po na-e-exercise natin ang mga sarili with responsibility at hindi po doon sa ganitong pamamaraan. Marami naman pong ibang pamamaraan para maabot ang mga taong nasa pamahalaan kaya nga po tayo may mga feedback mechanism na," Valte said.

"Kung gusto lamang nila magtanong ay madali naman po kaming makausap at mahanap, considering na marami po sa amin ay nasa social media na rin. Hindi po naman tayo mahirap maabot at handa naman po kaming sumagot sa mga ganitong tanong. Huwag lang po nating idaan sa mga ganitong pamamaraan," she added.

Hacking is considered a criminal offense in the country under Republic Act 8792 (Electronic Commerce Act), which is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, and a fine of P100,000. (SDR/Sunnex)