The Police Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas) distributed Monday 19 sets of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment to boost local police stations’ capability against cybercrimes.
“This is just initial, using funds from our MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses). Our regional ICT officer identified police stations with few computers. They were among the first recipients of computers primarily to stop cybercrime,” PRO 6 director Brig. Gen. Sidney Villaflor said in an interview after leading the distribution of the equipment during the flag-raising ceremony.
Villaflor said the provision of branded desktop computers equipped with operating systems and original anti-virus set with printers was part of the five-focused agenda of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr.
The five-focused agenda are morale and welfare of the police force, community engagement, integrity enhancement, aggressive and honest law enforcement operation and ICT development.
“The PNP leadership is contemplating to include cybercrime in the top eight focus crimes so it may become nine focus crimes,” he added.
The eight focus crimes are murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, theft, robbery, car theft and motorcycle theft.
With that, each police station in the region has two cybercrime investigators who will soon undergo training by the Anti-Cybercrime Group from Camp Crame.
He added decentralizing investigators and ICT equipment are necessary to make it accessible for victims to file complaints at local police units instead of sending them to the regional headquarters in Iloilo City.
Most of the complainants, according to the region’s top cop, were victims of text scams telling them they won in a promo and they have to open a link that sometimes asks for the automated teller machine’s personal identification number or the one-time password (OTP).
The 19 sets of ICT equipment will be distributed among local police stations in Antique, Negros Occidental, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the regional headquarters. (PNA)