Filipino hackerDate: September 29, 2005
According to Criminal Case No. 419672-CR filed at Branch 14 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila under Judge Rosalyn Mislos-Loja, a copy which was shown to INQ7.net, Giner was sentenced to one to two years of imprisonment and will pay a fine of 100,000 pesos.
However, Giner immediately applied for probation, which was eventually granted by the court during Wednesday's arraignment, the DoJ said.
The granting of the probation will allow Giner to skip jail time but he will still be required to report to a probationary officer on a regular basis.
Giner's lawyer Rodolfo Viajar, Jr. agreed with the court's ruling, according to the copy shown to INQ7.net.
Giner's arraignment started at 8:30 am Wednesday at branch 14 of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila.
The conviction of Giner is now considered a landmark case, as he is the first local hacker to be convicted under section 33a of the E-Commerce Law or Republic Act 8792, according to DoJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez and Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuņo who have provided support to the prosecution of the case.
In a separate interview, Geronimo Sy, the state prosecutor handling the case, revealed that Giner's lawyer had agreed to a plea bargain before Wednesday's arraignment, wherein the local hacker was advised to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.
"Giner's lawyer saw the merits of the case and saw that a crime was indeed committed in terms of causing the site to crash and denying access to a website, which is called denial of service. So this morning at the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila, Giner was convicted and sentenced to one to two years of imprisonment and to pay a fine of 100,000 pesos. But he also immediately applied for probation, which the State did not interpose [an objection]," Sy said, a few hours after Wednesday's arraignment.
Sy stressed that the court recognized that the remorseful Giner was "a promising man" who even wanted to go to law school in the future. Thus, he was granted probation.
A probation officer will make sure that Giner will not repeat his activities, and violate the conditions of his probation, the government prosecutor said.
Sy said that the court's decision to grant Giner probation is meant to promote "reformative aspect of the justice system of the Philippines" and spare Giner the experience of being imprisoned with hardened criminals.
"He won't be sent to jail," Sy said.
In a separate interview, Police Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, head of the Anti-Transnational Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP-CIDG), was ecstatic about the news.
Sosa's division was involved in the gathering of electronic evidence and the tracking down of the Filipino hacker with help from local Internet service provider Bitstop Inc., which was the host the gov.ph portal when it was attacked by Giner.
"This will set a precedent. Finally the E-commerce law has been tested. So this news will now serve as a lesson to local hackers," he said in telephone interview. "Regardless of the [light sentence], I'm happy that he was convicted," Sosa added.
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