A horrible news has struck the nation, when a passenger bus exploded last Tuesday (January 25, 2011). The explosion that happened near the Metro Rail Transit (Buendia station ) along EDSA, had killed five people, and injured several others. Reports claimed that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used, and detonated using a cellphone. The massive impact of IED blown up the 81-mm mortal shell, which spifflicated the front and side glass windows of the Newman Goldliner bus.This incident has happened in the Philippines several times, and the government is still having conundrums with these bombers who are detonating bombs using cellular phones. This triggered Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III to urge the Telcom companies to register SIM cards mandatorily.
In other countries, they require valid identification cards to be presented first before purchasing SIM cards, which I believe is for sake of their national security. Unlike in the Philippines, you can purchase SIM cards anywhere at your own convenience. Service providers are trying their best to be ahead of their competitors. The more convenient it is, the more profitable it is for them. This makes millions of SIM cards unregistered, and allows people to have more than one SIM.
“Sotto said registering SIM cards will allow authorities to trace it if ever it is used in criminal activities. He said prepaid SIM cards had not only been used in bombings, but also in other crimes like kidnappings and carnappings.”
The proposition of Senator Sotto is quite apprehensible at first glance, and I know he is just concern for the welfare of the people. But, I believe it should be reviewed very carefully; demerits may exceed merits of this proposition.
Second, how can we be sure that those imbeciles would use their real names, and present their real identification cards? If we want to avoid identity theft and falsification of documents, we should come up with a unified national identification card.
First, invasion of privacy would be jeopardized. Wiretapping might be prevalent due to hackers. On top of that, our law about it is still uncertain. How can they assure subscribers that their confidentiality is maintained, and not tampered with?
Third, what should a person do, once his cellular phone was stolen? Is he the one to blame, once his stolen cellphone was used to detonate the bomb?
I am not actually against with it; these are just some of the questions that I want to clarify. And I’m sure there are still hanging questions out there, who want to have a conclusive scope of the aforementioned proposition. At least, we know that our government is really doing something to lessen some inhumane acts. As of the moment, we just need to be vigilant (Paranoid would be better) if we sense something suspicious, and let's refrain from making premature assumptions.
What do you think about SIM registration by the way?