Wednesday, June 03, 2009
IBM will file a P200-million libel suit against GSIS
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine unit of computer giant IBM will file a P200 million libel suit against the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) after it reaped “unwarranted public attacks" from the state-run pension fund. IBM’s local unit has begun legal actions to “vigorously defend" its reputation, the company said in a statement. Last month, the state-run pension fund for public employees blamed IBM for a software application that has delayed transactions of 20,000 of its estimated members. The software application is reportedly part of GSIS’ Integrated Loans, Membership, Acquired Assets and Accounts Management System (Ilmaams). “We cannot stand by and allow our company's reputation to be tarnished by blatantly inaccurate and misleading accusations," IBM said in a statement. “This is an action that we do not take lightly. IBM has been in operations in the Philippines for more than 70 years, and has over 7,000 employees. During this time, we have built our business by upholding the highest level of corporate ethics and integrity. Anything less would betray the trust that clients, citizens and governments place in us every day." "Our preference is to work constructively with our clients and our business partners to address any and all issues they may have, in a spirit of mutual cooperation and partnership. Unfortunately, the deliberately libelous actions by the GSIS leave IBM with no other course of action," IBM added. For its part, GSIS believed the upgrade only worsened the problem as the database began mishandling data, which prevented its simultaneous use. Earlier, Consuelo Manansala, GSIS executive vice president for operations, said the crashes could not come at a worst time for 1.5 million GSIS members and pensioners because May and June are peak months for loans and benefits since these are enrollment and school opening seasons. GSIS chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo also said the pension fund is mulling to file charges against IT contractor Questronix Corp. and IBM. Questronix director for business solutions Bert L. Bartolome allegedly wrote in a May 15 letter to the GSIS that IBM database software called IBM DB2 is the root cause of the crash based on the findings of the computer giant's laboratories in Canada. Citing the report, GSIS said the overflow caused DB2 to "lose certain information in the leading byte and data may end up in the wrong table, resulting in subsequent page corruptions.