Hacker a good boy, neighbors say

BUTUAN CITY—Perhaps like the original Guy Fawkes who was part of London’s Gunpowder Plot of 1605, residents of Barangay Ambago here cannot believe that their neighbors 21-year-old neighbor Rodel Plasabas was a leader of global network of computer hackers known as “Anonymous.”

Plasabas’ home in Butuan City.

“He never had [a particular group of friends] and he is a religious boy, like his siblings, while his mother is very active in our Roman Catholic Church here,” village head Monico Bustillo told Manila Standard Today.  Plasabas had no derogatory record in his barangay and he was a “good boy.”

Bustillo was thus surprised when agents of the National Bureau of Investigation showed up at his house on Nov. 11 asking about Plasabas, who supposedly led the local chapter of Anonymous in attacking 38 government web sites last Nov. 3.

Mrs. Nicosia’s husband Raymundo told MST Rodel was a silent and shy type whose father worked abroad being ordinary worker of a foreign vessel.

“We don’t believe until now that Rodel was a hacker,” said Plasabas’ neighbor Raymundo Nicosia. “Look at their house and how they live. There isn’t even a computer in that house.”

Raymundo and his wife Anacorita said they had known Plasabas for years and he was just an ordinary teenager and even had to drop out of the nautical course he had been taking.

Anacorita said she regularly saw Plasabas passing by her house every morning on his way to Butuan City where he managed an internet cafe.

But the NBI claimed they were able to trace the Internet Protocol address of the computers used to hack the government websites and they arrested Plasabas, who was known online as “Reaper,” “AnonymousButuan” and “Anon Reaper.”

“He (Plasabas) was online when the search warrant was issued. Initial check on his current chats indicated discussions on website hacks. Initial forensics were conducted,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

De Lima said Plasabas was charged yesterday before  a local court in violation of RA 8792, or the e-Commerce Law.

“I understand Rodel was brought by NBI men to Manila after he was arrested at an internet café in  downtown Butuan City last Wednesday” Bustillo added.


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