Sotto, Guingona renew call for SIM card registration after CDO blast

Senators Vicente "Tito" Sotto III and Teofisto Guingona III on Monday resurrected a proposal to register prepaid subscriber identity module (SIM) cards in light of last Friday's blast in Cagayan de Oro City that killed eight people and injured dozens of others.

During Monday's session, Sotto said the registration of these plastic cards used in cellphones would enable authorities to easily track those who detonate explosive devices through mobile phones.

"We've time and again called on telcos [telecommunication companies] to register prepaid SIM cards. It's been used for kidnapping and blackmail," Sotto pointed out.

Guingona, who hails from Mindanao, backed Sotto's proposal, saying cellphones have been used "again and again" for criminal activities.

"How many bombings do we have to wait for to register these SIM cards?" Guingona said on the Senate floor.

The lawmakers suggested this after eight people were killed in a bomb explosion at the Limketkai Mall on Friday night.

Authorities are still in the process of identifying who committed the blast, as well as the motive behind the incident. The police have released computerized facial composites of the three suspects in the bombing.

In 2007, a bill was filed by then-Senator Richard Gordon proposing the registration of personal information of buyers of SIM cards, whether pre-paid or post paid.

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, who considers Cagayan de Oro as his hometown, for his part, demanded the swift identification and prosecution of the "masterminds" of last Friday's blast.

"I denounce this senseless killing of innocent and productive Filipinos. We want justice for the victims. The masterminds must be prosecuted and penalized now. The people expect and deserve no less than fast delivery of justice in this incident," he said in a privilege speech.

Pimentel also said that all commercial establishments in the country should be required to have closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

GMA News TV's “Balitanghali” reported Monday that the police are now studying a CCTV that showed one of the suspects. — KBK, GMA News

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