NBI probes rape threat against celebrity daughter Frankie Pangilinan

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2020   •   2234

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now verifying the identity of a netizen who allegedly threatened to rape Frankie Pangilinan, the daughter of Senator Kiko Pangilinan and Megastar Sharon Cuneta.

NBI-Cybercrime Division Chief Atty. Vic Lorenzo said the agency is looking into the true identity of the person behind the social media account that posted a direct threat of rape against the celebrity daughter.

The age of the perpetrator is also an important factor that will help determine the appropriate charges to be filed against the creator and owner of the account.

Iyong post kasi ang nakalagay: “Kung 12 years old ako gagahasain ko ang anak mo tapos hindi ako makukulong.” So ide-determine natin kung ano ang edad noong actual na nagpost ng threatening message na iyon,” Lorenzo explained.

[The post said: “If only I am 12 years old, I will rape your daughter without being detained. So we will determine the age of the person who actually posted that threatening message.]

“Kapag kasi minor iyan, may mga configuration tayo. Kasi meron tayong juvenille justice and Welfare Act. Iko-consider iyon,” he added.

[Because if he is a minor, there are certain configurations. We have the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. We will consider that.]

The official said that if the perpetrator is an adult, he will face charges under the Cybercrime Law.

The NBI warned the public not to threaten anyone even on social media, may it be true or as a joke, as it has corresponding charges under the law.

May kulong ang light threat saka unjust vexation medyo mababa ang penalty, imprisonment nyan. Pero kapag in relation to RA 10175, one degree higher yan so 6 years 1 day to 12 years ang penalty noon,” Lorenzo noted.

[Light threat and unjust vexation has a penalty of imprisonment but very short. But if it’s in connection with RA 10175, that’s one degree higher so the penalty is 6years 1 day to 12 years imprisonment.]

Based on Cuneta’s post, they suspect that the netizen is living abroad and they already have a hint as to the workplace of that person.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menarso Guevarra said it is possible to track a person even if he is abroad through coordination between the Philippine Justice Department and the country where the person is, to establish jurisdiction on the respondent. –MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Public urged not to click unverified links amid text scam surge

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice-Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OCC) on Wednesday called on the public to be vigilant with their transactions online.

The DOJ-OCC issued the advisory amid the surge of SMS/text scams offering dubious job opportunities.

The department advised the public to be cautious before taking up an opportunity to work offered by unknown SMS senders.

It also shared some tips to discern fraudulent job ads.

 “A fraudulent job posting will either ask the applicant to pay for application or training fees or promise high wages,” it said.

“It would also require the applicant to answer extensive personal information questionnaire that would then be used by the scammers to commit identity theft,” it added.

The DOJ-OCC also urged the public to also be wary of online messages containing links to other sites as this may be a way by scammers to steal their personal data.

“Do not click unverified links and do not give away personal information easily.

The Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime would like to remind everyone to remain cyber safe for a happy holidays,” it said.

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier said its initial probe showed that a global organized syndicate could be behind the proliferation of text scams.

The NPC said it has summoned data protection officers of local telcos, banks, and e-commerce platforms to discuss the scam text surge.

The National Telecommunications Commission has ordered telcos to send a warning to their subscribers against text scams that contain dubious job offers.

 

PNP files cybercrime raps vs 80 individuals for allegedly exploiting pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it has lodged criminal complaints against 80 persons allegedly involved in cybercrimes exploiting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the cases involved spreading false information on social media, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.

Citing PNP data from March 2020 to August 2021, Eleazar said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) have filed 87 criminal complaints against 52 persons for proliferating fake news.

Eleazar said they were specifically charged with Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code as amended to include Online Libel; violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law; and violation of Presidential Decree No. 90, which makes rumor-mongering and spreading false information as unlawful.

Based on the reports, Eleazar said there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving the spread of fake news and unverified information about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.

“We are appealing to the public to be discerning and wary of fake news. This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars,” the PNP chief said in a statement.

The CIDG and the ACG also filed three criminal complaints against two alleged online scammers; and 31 criminal complaints against 26 alleged online profiteers, hoarders, and unauthorized sellers of medical supplies.

Seized from the unauthorized online sellers were: gallons of disinfectant; vitamin C capsules; forehead thermometers; facemasks; and several liters of isopropyl alcohol.

“Binabalaan ko ang mga manloloko at mapagsamantala sa kapwa na tigil-tigilan na ang ganitong gawain,” Eleazar said.

“You will face the full force of the law for your criminal activities,” he added.

PNP warns public against individuals posing as police personnel to extort money

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned the public against individuals posing as members of the national police or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to extort money and obtain personal information.

In an advisory, the PNP said they received reports from citizens about individuals claiming to be members of the military or the national police. 

The said malicious individuals would inform their victims that they are on the list of suspected members of ‘Communist Terrorist Group-New People’s Army’. They will then extort money from the victims in exchange for removing their names from the list.

Initial reports said these individuals have extorted up to P500,000.

The PNP reminds the public to remain vigilant and make sure to verify the identities of individuals claiming to be members of the authority. 

It also advised the public to observe the following safety protocols to prevent being victimized by scammers:

1. Think before you speak. Scammers want you to act and give out information;

2. If the activity is made through phone transactions, be aware that caller IDs can be easily spoofed by scammers, hence:

   a. Verify phone numbers before calling back;

   b. Use a different phone to call back;

   c. Never divulge or share any sensitive information over the  phone; and

   d. Block automated calls

Meanwhile, the PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group is already conducting further investigation on the issue.  

“We condemn these fraudulent acts and assure the public that our PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has initiated an investigation and case-build up against scammers,” the PNP said in a statement. -AAC

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