Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo issued a warning to the public not to transact or entertain any messages coming from the hacked Facebook page of the Diocese of Kidapawan.

Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo is calling on the government to investigate the recent spate of hacking of Facebook pages and accounts.

The bishop made the call after his own Facebook account and the official Facebook page of the Diocese of Kidapawan were hacked.  The bishop said in an interview with PressOnePH that both his account and the Facebook page of the diocese cannot be accessed and recovered.

He immediately issued a notice to the public reminding netizens not to comment or share any posts of the hacked page. He also warned netizens from clicking any links from the page or sent via Facebook Messenger. He advised the public to transact directly at the chancery office of the diocese instead of coursing it through the hacked Facebook page.

Caritas Philippines, which Bagaforo heads, also issued a warning to the public about the Diocese of Kidapawan’s hacked Facebook page.

Bagaforo is urging the “Senate to make a public hearing on this [hacking incidents]” and “compel the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) to explain and investigate” the increased hacking of Facebook pages.

“This is a proliferation of [a] crime (cybercrime) which should be a concern to be addressed by our responsible government agencies. This could imply a transgression and violation of our rights which the government is mandated to protect,” he said.

He added that if not addressed immediately, the hacking could get “worse” with the government digital system as the next victim.

“This hacking is now a national concern,” he said.

This is the fourth incident this year that social media pages of local Catholic dioceses and priests were hacked.

Early this year, the YouTube live stream channel of Radio Veritas, was hacked. In March, the Diocese of Antipolo warned the public about the Facebook page of a parish and the accounts of its priests were hacked. In April, the Facebook page of Spirit FM Lucena, the Diocese of Lucena’s radio station, was hacked as well. The Diocese of Lucena warned informed the public of the hacking incident through a statement posted in the diocesan website. — Rommel F. Lopez