Press Release
December 13, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed his call for the establishment of a legal framework for investigating, apprehending and prosecuting cybercriminals, as he defended yesterday the Cybercrime Prevention Act (Senate Bill 2976).

Answering whether the measure will keep the cyberspace of the Philippines free from attack, Angara said, "Even very tech-savvy countries like the US are vulnerable to cybercrimes."

"With the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, at least we will have a framework where such crimes will be defined and which police authorities can use to pursue criminals. The damage is almost indescribable if we don't have the legal framework in place," continued Angara, who has also sponsored other pending ICT-related measures such as the Data Privacy Act and the bill creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The veteran lawmaker noted that since the passage of the E-Commerce Act in 2000, only one person has been convicted of a cybercrime. The E-Commerce Act provides penalties only for hacking, cracking and piracy.

He added that the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies welcome the new cybercrime bill because it encourages these agencies to work together and with other legal authorities from other jurisdictions.

"Coordination is perhaps the most important element. Internet crimes are borderless--they can come from anywhere, and come at anytime," stressed the veteran lawmaker. "The bill also seeks additional funding for improving the necessary facilities, and for training not only law enforcers but also judges."

"In fact, we already have the expertise in our agencies. They only need the legal framework to support them," noted Angara.

Lending support to the measure were Mr. Monchito Ibrahim of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO); Lito Averia of the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PHCERT); Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG); and Engr. Allan S. Cabanlong of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

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