MANILA, Philippines—Several government websites were defaced Saturday as hacker group Anonymous Philippines demanded justice for the 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Force who were killed by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (M.I.L.F.) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (B.I.F.F.) in a clash last Sunday in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
The lawmen were secretly deployed to the area to serve warrants of arrest against wanted terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman.
The commandos were reportedly able to kill Marwan. However, their brief exchange of gunfire alerted nearby M.I.L.F. and B.I.F.F. fighters who quickly surrounded and decimated the hapless policemen.
Posting the same message earlier used by hacking group Bloodsec to deface the satirical website of journalist Alan Robles, Anonymous expressed its condolences to the families of the slain policemen and demanded justice for them.
Robles’ site was hacked shortly after netizens expressed their indignation over Aquino’s tardiness. His wife, journalist Raissa Robles, however, has debunked those claims, saying the service ended early at 9:38 AM and Aquino was originally scheduled to arrive at 10 AM.
“We Are Watching You, Mr. President”
The group also accused President Benigno S. Aquino of being seemingly indifferent to the plight of the affected families.
They criticized him for not giving the slain men due recognition by not being there to receive them at Villamor Air Base and for arriving late at the necrological service held in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.
“The whole country was expecting you to give respect and justice as president of the Philippines,” the group said in its message before finally ending it with the warning “We are watching you, Mr. President. EXPECT US.”
Anonymous had previously hacked government websites in 2012 in protest of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law. It also attacked Chinese websites as retaliation for China’s growing aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea.