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No signal? Palace appeals for understanding

No signal? Palace appeals for understanding

  • 2015-01-20
 Malacañang thanked the public yesterday for understanding that cellular phone signals were jammed to ensure the safety of Pope Francis during his visit in the country.

“More than the complaints…a lot also were very understanding of the security measures that we needed to take and we thank everyone for that, and we thank everyone for bearing with the situation,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said over radio dzRB.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is in charge of overall security during the papal visit, earlier said that jamming mobile phone signals is a security precaution as terrorists use mobile phones to trigger explosive devices.

Even a one-bar signal could trigger an explosive device. This is the reason why cell sites in areas where signals could reach places visited by the pope were disabled.

But Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon stressed that signal jamming may prove to be a grave inconvenience for mobile phone users, especially when emergencies arise.

“Signal jamming will only lead to more harm than good. What if during the large gathering at Rizal Park this Sunday, for example, family members get separated? What if emergency situations arise? How will the people communicate with each other?” he pointed out.

“Surely, the Filipino people want the pope to be safe during his visit here, and we understand if certain security precautions are put into place. Yet, we believe that the government should not go to the extent of jamming mobile phone signals. Communication is an essential part of public safety,” he added.

Ridon also noted that there has been weak mobile phone signal even in areas far from papal visit sites, like Batasan and Fairview in Quezon City. There have also been complaints about weak Internet connection.

Mobile phone companies have sent text advisories to subscribers informing them that there would be “temporary interruption of mobile phone services” during the papal visit due to an order from the National Telecommunications Commission.(from ABS-CBNNEWS)

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