Lawmaker underscores anti-cybercrime law

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Thursday, September 20, 2012


ANGELES CITY -- Filipinos may now feel safe from all forms of cybercrimes as Republic Act (RA) 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, has finally been signed into law, said Pampanga Representative Carmelo Lazatin (1st district).

The lawmaker said the law will put teeth into the government’s crusade to fight all forms of cybercrime by providing clearer definition of computer-related crimes and imposing stiffer penalties to offenders that ranges from prision mayor or a fine of P200,000 to reclusion temporal or a fine of up to P10 million.

Lazatin is one of the main proponents of House bill 5808, the Congress’s version of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

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Lazatin’s original bill House Bill 1444 is centered on criminalizing the operation of cybersex dens in the country.

The veteran lawmaker said that after 10 years of stringent scrutiny from Senate and House of Representatives, the bill had been signed by President Benigno Aquino III into law.

“This bill has already been filed by other members of the House since 12th Congress but it’s only now that it finally became a law and we are very happy because the Filipino people will now feel safer in using computers and internet in their transactions,” Lazatin said.

RA 10175 will enable the State to adopt sufficient powers to effectively prevent and combat all forms of misuse, abuse and illegal access by facilitating their detection, investigation, arrest and prosecution at both the domestic and international levels, and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation.

Under the law the Office of Cybercrime under the Department of Justice and an inter-agency body known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the Office of the President will be created.

Offenses punishable under the Act are those against confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems such as illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices, and cyber squatting.

Other punishable offenses under the new law include computer-related forgery, computer-related fraud, computer-related identity theft, cybersex, child pornography, unsolicited commercial communications, libel and cyber threats.

Likewise, aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime and attempt to commit cybercrime are liable and would be penalized according to the gravity of participation.

Under the measure, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are mandated as law enforcement agencies responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.

Before this law was signed, only a few laws were able to provide punishment against crimes carried out using the internet.

These laws include RA 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998; RA 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000; RA 9208 or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; RA 9995 or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009; and RA 9775 Child Pornography Act of 2009.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 21, 2012.

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