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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Colleagues: Honasan fit for DICT post

His Senate colleagues on Saturday defended the appointment of Sen. Gregorio Honasan as information and communications secretary, saying his background in security qualified him for the post.

Republic Act No. 108444, which created the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), listed the qualifications of the secretary, undersecretary or assistant secretary of the department.

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These included at least seven years of “competence and expertise” in information and communications technology, information technology service management, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy and e-commerce.

Coup past

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Honasan, who is completing his second consecutive term as senator and is barred from reelection, was a former soldier and coup plotter.

But Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Honasan’s background had exposed him to cybersecurity matters and made him eligible for the post.

Honasan chairs the Senate’s national defense committee, Pimentel said in a radio interview.

Pimentel, in an interview with dwIZ, said the law did not require qualifications to become head of DICT to be acquired from private practice.

“It would be easy to comply with these for as long as you have serious exposure to IT, cybersecurity and national security,” Pimentel said.

Right team

He added that the head of the DICT need not be an ICT expert but it was important for him to assemble the right team.

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The DICT secretary’s task was to make the final decision and defend it before the Cabinet and the President, he added.

In the same radio interview, Sen. Cynthia Villar also underscored Honasan’s security background.

Villar said that in the digital era, a major concern is the hacking of computers and abuse of information and communication technology.

“I think Senator Honasan is equipped to solve that,” Villar said.

Honasan would replace Eliseo Rio at the DICT.

Rio, an electronics and communications engineer and also former military general, has been overseeing the selection of the country’s third telecommunications player.

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