SIM registration law can be used vs ‘enemies of the state’ — DND

The Department of National Defense (DND) has admitted they can use the SIM card registration law against what they recognize as “enemies of the state” — something legal activists have long feared.

In the deliberation for the 2024 budget of the DND this Thursday, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro mentioned that although the main role of SIM card registration is to be an anti-fraud measure, it can also be used against the government’s opponents.


“Naturally any legitimate tool against an enemy of the state can be used,” Teodoro said during the congressional debate on the DND budget.

“I don’t think SIM card registration will be of value for enemies of state, it does help but I think its more for an anti-fraud measure.”

For Rep. Raoul Manuel of the Kabataan party-list, who is among the congressmen in its budget deliberation, this law is still dangerous because it can be used in the government’s surveillance operations on its perceived enemies.


“Delikado kung magagamit ang SIM card registration kasi napaka-broad ng pwedeng sakupin ng label na ‘enemies of the state’, kahit sinong individual pwede ma-brand na ganito,” Manuel said in a statement this Friday.

SIM registration law can be used vs ‘enemies of the state’ — DND

The youth are among the critics of Republic Act 11934 and call for alternatives that do not affect data privacy and people’s rights, such as SIM registration.

Government officials often accuse its critics of being “enemies of the state” through red-tagging — or the vague linking of people to the rebel Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army — according to some groups, something that sometimes ends up in human rights violations or extrajudicial killing.


The Computer Professional’s Union first raised concerns over the enactment of R.A. 11934, especially since it puts the public’s “right to privacy” and “data protection” at risk.

Despite its enactment, text scams are still prevalent today.

Recently, the National Bureau of Investigation found out that it is possible to register here even if fake IDs and photos of animals are used.

This is the reason why the Senate Committee on Public Services, led by Sen. Grace Poe, called for an investigation.

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