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Gov’t ready to act vs ‘cyber sedition’

The government is ready to arrest some people allegedly inciting rebellion through the internet in connection with the Islamic State-linked attack in Marawi City.

The suspects have been tracked down by the government and will soon be apprehended for “cyber sedition,” according to Secretary Rodolfo Salalima of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“May huhulihin na – cyber sedition. We are not going to name the persons. We were able to track about more than one last (Monday) night,” Salalima said in a Palace press briefing.

Salalima admitted that the DICT is “involved” in government efforts to run after groups using the internet to spread terrorist propaganda and incite rebellion but kept a tight lid on “confidential” information.

“To the extent they commit cyber crimes, the DICT takes over,” he said.

“You do sedition, you incite people via cyber or via internet, I call it there is cyber rebellion, there is cyber sedition. But in rebellion, there must be a taking up of arms so pag sa online, it would amount to cyber sedition,” he added.

The Armed Forces earlier asked Facebook Philippines to close down 63 accounts allegedly being used by Maute group and its sympathizers to spread terrorist propaganda amid the battle in Marawi City. These groups supposedly spread misinformation to undermine government operations in the fight against local terrorists.

The government has promised to bring the Marawi conflict to a swift conclusion following the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao. To date, 202 militants, 58 government troops, and 26 civilians have been killed in the fighting.