Gatchalian seeks probe over reports of students selling lewd photos, videos online

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 4, 2021   •   1784

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to open an investigation following reports of students allegedly selling lewd photos and videos online.

Based on reports of The Philippine Online Student Tambayan (POST), a news portal on the student sector, several students are using #AlterPH, #AlterPinay, and #AlterPhilippines on Twitter to sell their photos and videos  so that they could buy gadgets for their siblings and pay for internet bills. 

“Nakakabahalang dahil sa mga suliraning dinudulot ng pandemya, ang ating mga kabataan ay nahaharap sa matinding panganib na maging biktima ng pang-aabuso at karahasan (It is alarming that because of the effects of the pandemic, our students are facing risks of becoming victims of abuse and violence),” he said in a statement.

There has been a spike in the number of online sexual exploitation cases compared to last year. Between March 1 to May 24 2020, there were 279,166 cases of online sexual exploitation recorded in Metro Manila; a 264% increase compared to the 76,561 cases recorded from the same period last year.

Gatchalian also urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to boost its child protection program to better identify learners who may be experiencing abuse and exploitation. AAC 

Umano’y phishing scam sa LandBank accounts ng ilang guro, pinaiimbestigahan ng DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Justice (DOJ) na iniimbestigahan na ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ang napaulat na phishing scheme sa account ng ilang guro sa Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ni Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra na kasalukuyan nang nagsasagawa ng malawakang imbestigasyon ang NBI sa kaso ng online fraud sa bansa.

“The NBI is already looking into phishing of bank accounts on a broader scale, but I am minded to issue a separate directive to the NBI in the case of the teacher victims,” ani Guevarra.

Una nang sinabi ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition na may mga natanggap silang ulat na ilang miyembro nila ang nawalan ng pera sa account dahil sa umano’y hindi otorisadong bank transaction.

Ayon sa pinuno ng grupo na si Benjo Basas, 16 na ang natatanggap nilang ulat na nawalan ng pera sa kanilang payroll account matapos umano itong ilipat mula sa kanilang LandBank account papunta sa ibang bangko.

“So far, 16 na po ito, ang common denominator lahat sila ay nawalan ng pera na batay doon sa paggamt ng kanilang online banking apps o system nung LandBank,” ani Basas.

“Ang simula ay ganun lamang po ang pinakamataas lamang po P121,000 from P26,000 ngayon meron ding mas mababa pa, mayroong mga nag-report sa atin na P10,000. Inaayos na po natin ito, nagkaroon na po tayo ng pakikipag-ugnayan sa Department of Education,” dagdag pa niya.

Isa sa mga nawalan ng pera sa LandBank account ay si Crisanto Cruz, isang guro sa Cavite. Aniya, noong Disyembre 30 siya nakatanggap ng notification ukol sa OTP o one-time password sa kanyang cellphone.

“Napansin ko may message, nung tiningnan ko message sa LandBank yung tinatawag nating OTP, one time password, itong OTP pinapadala lang kung mayroon kang online bank system (transaction),” ani Cruz.

“Kinabahan ako kase nakapatay ang computer ko. Ang ginawa ko, meron akong pwedeng mag-check ng balance sa’king cellphone, yun wala na, ubos na yung laman,” dagdag pa niya.

Aniya, P84,000 ang nawala mula sa kanyang account matapos magkaroon ng dalawang hindi otorisadong transaksyon.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ng pamunuan ng LandBank na walang nangyaring hacking sa sistema nito at ang napaulat na unauthorized transactions sa ilang account holders nito ay bunsod umano ng phishing scam.

Tiniyak ng bangko na nakikipag-ugnayan na ito sa mga apektadong kliyente.

“The Lank Bank of the Philippines clarifies that it’s systems were not hacked and remain secure, following reports that alleged unauthorized transactions were experienced by two teachers who maintain payroll accounts with LandBank,” ang pahayag nito.

“According to the initial investigation by Landbank, the devices of the teachers were hacked via phishing which compromised their personal information,” dagdag pa nito.

Muli rin itong nagpaalala sa publiko na maging alerto laban sa phishing scam at iba pang uri ng panloloko gamit ang internet. Iwasan ring buksan ang anumang kaduda-dudang link at e-mail na matatanggap, at huwag i-share ang kanilang account at personal information online.

Payo rin ng bangko na agad makipag-ugnayan sa pinakamalapit na branch o kaya ay tumawag sa Landbank customer care hotlines na (02) 8-405-7000 at 1-800-10-405-7000 sakaling makaranas ng hindi otorisadong transaksyon sa kanilang bank account.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng Department of Education na binubusisi na rin nito ang isyu at nakikipag-ugnayan na sa mga kinauukulan.

COMELEC formally deputizes PNP, AFP for conduct of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has formally deputized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the conduct of “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible” May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Under Resolution No. 10755 promulgated on Wednesday, January 19, the COMELEC listed the following duties and functions to be performed by AFP and PNP personnel as its deputized agents:

  • Provide security to polling places, polling centers/voting centers, canvassing centers, and such other places or buildings, including election paraphernalia, equipment, forms, and supplies, that will be used in connection with the elections;
  • Provide security to the personnel of the Commission, its deputies, and other persons performing election-related functions;
  • Deploy, at the least time possible, troops for election duty in coordination with the concerned Regional Election Director, Provincial Election Supervisor, and Election Officer;
  • Make available, at the least time possible, land, air, and watercraft assets, communication systems, and other equipment, in connection with the conduct of the elections;
  • Look into the existence of any armed group organized to commit, or which is committing or attempting to commit, acts of terrorism, or threats to intimidate or coerce any person to vote for or against a candidate, and to suppress or prevent said acts of terrorism or threats;
  • Assist the Commission in implementing more effectively election laws and/ or rules and regulations, particularly the laws governing prohibition against military, policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards for the candidates, the use of armored vehicles and air or watercraft, and the prohibition on bearing, carrying or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons in public places;
  • Provide security escorts to candidates, subject to the conditions and restrictions on the Resolution imposing the ban on the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons and the ban on the use of security personnel or bodyguards; provided that, the AFP can provide security escorts only in the absence of personnel of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies;
  • Conduct a periodic assessment of the peace and order conditions in critical areas and recommend measures which may be adopted by the Commission in the interest of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections;
  • Comply with and/ or implement directives or resolutions of the Commission, which shall take precedence over and above the orders and directives issued by any other office or agency of the Government, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus cases;
  • Render periodic reports on action taken in accordance with this Resolution

The poll body reminded that despite being deputized, soldiers shall continue with the conduct of all Internal Security Operations or its own functions and responsibilities and that no changes in the assignments of police personnel can be effected except upon prior written permission of the commission.

The resolution shall take effect after its publication in two daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, the COMELEC said.

 

 

‘No vax, no ride’ policy may legal na basehan pero limitado ang pagpapatupad – DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – May legal na basehan ang pagpapatupad ng “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila, ayon sa Department of Justice (DOJ).

Ang pagtatanggol sa polisiya ay ginawa ni DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra sa gitna ng mga pagtutol sa panuntunan ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na nagbabawal sa mga hindi bakunado laban sa COVID-19 na sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan kung walang maipapakitang dokumento o katunayan ng exemption.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ni Guevarra na ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy ng DOTr ay alinsunod sa Administrative Code (EO292) at batay sa Republic Act 11332 o ang batas na nag-oobliga sa pag-uulat ng notifiable diseases.

Aniya, sa ilalim ng batas ay may kapangyarihan ang pamahalaan na limitahan ang galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado kung para ito sa interes at kaligtasan ng publiko.

“The state has the power to regulate the movement of unvaccinated persons if it deems that such regulation is in the interest of public health or public safety and is for the benefit not only of the vaccinated but also of the unvaccinated,” ani Guevarra.

“In short, a person may refuse to get vaccinated for his/her own personal reasons, but he/she is duty-bound to obey reasonable state regulations affecting unvaccinated persons for the benefit of society at-large,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinimulang ipatupad sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy noong Lunes, Enero 17.

Exempted sa panuntunan ang mga manggagawang papasok sa trabaho, may medical condition kaya hindi makapagpabakuna, mga kukuha o maghahatid ng essential goods at services at mga pasaherong naka-schedule na magpabakuna. Kailangan lamang nilang magpakita ng identification card, medical appointment at iba pang dokumento.

Maraming grupo ang kumukwestiyon sa nasabing polisiya na tinawag nilang “anti-poor” at “discriminatory” sa mga hindi pa bakunado, lalo na sa mga walang sariling sasakyan.

Pero giit ni Guevarra, hindi naman pinagbabawalang bumiyahe ang mga hindi pa bakunado dahil ang polisiya ay epektibo lamang sa public transportation, at may nakasaad ring exemption sa rule na ito.

“The unvaccinated are not absolutely prohibited from availing themselves of public transport, provided that they have passes to show that they are out to obtain essential goods and service, such as food and medicine; or that they have medical certifications showing that they could not be vaccinated for medical or health reasons,” ang paliwanag ng opisyal.

Binigyang-diin rin ng DOJ chief na tatlo sa apat na indibidwal na naoospital o kaya ay namamatay dulot ng COVID-19 ay hindi bakunado.

At bagaman common carrier o pampublikong sasakyan ay bukas sa lahat, may responsibilidad rin aniya ang mga nangangasiwa nito na ihatid ang mga pasahero nang ligas sa kanilang mga patutunguhan.

“Common carriers are indeed open to everyone, but under our existing laws operators of common carriers are bound to carry their passengers safely to their destinations, and ‘safely’ means freedom not only from accidental injury but also from transmissible diseases,” ani Guevarra.

Paalala rin ni Guevarra na time-bound lamang o limitado lang ang panahon ng pagpapatupad ng polisiya at hindi naman ito required sa iba pang lugar na mababa ang bilang ng mga nababakunahan kontra COVID-19.

Una nang sinabi ng DOTr na ang polisiya ay epektibo lamang habang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 o higit pa ang Metro Manila. Batay rin anila ito sa resolusyong ipinasa ng konseho ng mga alkalde sa Metro Manila na naglilimita sa galaw ng mga unvaccinated person.

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