National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez has ordered the creation of an anticybercrime desk in all police stations in Metro Manila amid the increase of cybercrimes in the past years.
These anticybercrime desks in the 17 police stations in each of the cities and municipalities in Metro Manila will be manned by 223 police officers who graduated from the NCRPO’s Basic Cybercrime Investigation Seminar on Tuesday.
The cybercrime desks in the police stations will assist in investigating internet-related concerns under Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Under this section, all crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be considered cybercrimes.
According to Nartatez, the anticybercrime desks are also meant for violations of special laws, like RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009).However, complaints that fall under Sections 4 (cyberlibel) and 5 (aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime, and attempt in the commission of cybercrime) shall be turned over to the District Anti-Cybercrime Team (DACT).
In cases where warrants to disclose computer data or examine computer data and other warrants are needed, the anticybercrime desks can collaborate with the Anti-Cybercrime Group.
Prior to the establishment of the cybercrime desks in police stations, Metro Manila individuals who want to file cybercrime complaints needed to go to any of the five DACTs—Quezon City DACT, Manila DACT, Eastern DACT, Northern DACT, Southern DACT—or the ACG headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The NCRPO chief said they also established a process flow diagram in which the assessment of walk-in complaints and those sent via short messaging system, e-complaint desk, e-complaint text/hotline number and other means must be properly addressed by the duty officer or the duty personnel.
Cybercrimes in Metro Manila increased by 152 percent in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period last year.
According to the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, the latest data released in July showed that 6,250 cases of cybercrime were recorded from January to June 2023, up from the 2,477 recorded last year.
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