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Philippine Y2K Chief Resigns

November 19, 1999

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The head of the Philippines’ Y2K preparedness commission has resigned after being accused of links to a dummy company that allegedly sold faulty equipment designed to solve the computer glitch, officials said Friday.

President Joseph Estrada accepted Amable Aguiluz’s resignation with regret, presidential spokesman Jerry Barican said.

Philippine newspapers have accused Aguiluz of helping the company, linked to his family, sell Y2K ``fixes″ to private companies and government agencies. Commissions were paid to government officials who made the purchases, they said.

The Manila Times also reported Friday that Aguiluz, who also served as Estrada’s consultant for computer education, faces several criminal cases, including fraud.

Aguiluz, one of several Estrada appointees who have been accused of misconduct, has denied any wrongdoing.

The accusations involving Aguiluz raised concerns about the country’s ability to cope with the Y2K computer problem and contributed to a 0.4 percent decline Friday in the main index on the Philippine Stock Exchange, said Marilene Katimbang, vice president for research at Magnum International Securities.

The Y2K, or millennium, computer problem is caused by old programming codes which result in some computers recognizing only two-digit years. The computers may interpret the date ``00″ as 1900 instead of 2000, causing computer failures.

Estrada appointed Secretary of Science and Technology Filemon Uriarte as the new Y2K commission head, Barican said.

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