Press Release
October 5, 2010


In a recent interview, Senator Edgardo J. Angara vowed to push for the immediate passage into law of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2010 in the 15th Congress.

The said bill has been pushed to the fore as a slew of internet-related cases of harassment, fraud, and violations of privacy reported all over the media reminded the public of the inherent dangers stemming from freedom in cyberspace. Just two days ago, a man was arrested for blackmailing an 18-year-old girl and posting her nude photos on the hugely popular networking site Facebook.

Otherwise known as Senate Bill No. 52 or "An act defining Cybercrime, providing for prevention, investigation and imposition of penal ties therefore and for other purposes", the bill recognizes the importance of Information Technology (IT) development, as well as the resulting need to protect and safeguard these technologies from all forms of abuse and misuse for illegal acts.

Angara explains how the Cybercrime bill seeks to create a body under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) tasked to investigate and prosecute all kinds of cybercrimes.

" Base sa panukala na ito, magtatayo tayo ng isang Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center. Sila ang magiging key bureau. Samakatuwid, kung maipapasa itong Cyber Crime Prevention Act, magkakaroon tayo ng talagang complete enforcement office para ma-monitor, ma-survey at ma-prosecute natin ang kung sino mang gumagamit sa cyberspace for illegal acts," he said.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, describes the CICT as having no "teeth" when it comes to prosecution and enforcing penalties.

"Sa pag-momonitor pa lang ngayon ang kapasidad ng CICT dahil wala pa silang sapat na kapangyarihan para i-enforce ang batas. Ngunit ang isa pang problema natin ngayon, marami sa mga ginagawang kalaswaan, ilegal o imoral sa cyberspace ngayon ay hindi pa krimen ayon sa batas."

S.B. 52 proposes a more stringent punishment for the perpetrators of Cybercrimes such as illegal computer access, forgery, fraud, child pornography and cybersex.

"Ayon sa panukalang ito, ang parusa sa mga Cybercrime ay hindi bababa ng anim na taon at hindi bababa ng 200 thousand pesos na multa. May kabigatan at depende pa kung anong klaseng krimen ang ginawa mo," explained Angara, who is also the head of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering.

"Helpless ang mga biktima nito eh, kaya kailangan talagang i-rush ang Cyber Crime Prevention Act. Nakasisiguro ako na papasa't papasa ito sa Kongreso ngayon," assures Angara.

The bill reached the Third Reading during the 14th Congress, just one day short if being passed into law. It has been refiled in the 15th Congress, under the Science and Technology Committee.

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