PNP files cybercrime raps vs 80 individuals for allegedly exploiting pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2021   •   1038

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.

Aplikasyon para sa exemption sa election gun ban at security detail recall, simula na sa Dec. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Simula Miyerkules, Disyembre 1, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Philippine National Police (PNP) at Commission on Elections para sa exemption sa gun ban at security detail recall kaugnay ng 2022 elections.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Augustus Alba, tatagal hanggang Mayo 25 ang application period.

Batay sa Comelec Resolution 10728, ipinagbabawal ang pagdadala ng baril kapag nagsimula na ang election period sa Enero 9 hanggang Hunyo 8, 2022.

Kailangan ding i-recall ang lahat ng security detail na dineploy ng Police Security and Protection Group sa mga pulitiko, opisyal ng pamahalaan at pribadong indibiduwal.

 Tanging ang mga may pahintulot lamang ng Comelec ang bibigyan ng bantay.

Exempted sa recall ng security detail ang Presidente, Bise Presidente, Senate President, House Speaker, Supreme Court Chief Justice, AFP chief of staff at major service commanders, COMELEC chairman, mga kalihim ng Department of National Defense at ng Interior and Local Government, at senior officers ng PNP.

Ang mga ire- recall na security detail o protection security personnel ay isasalang naman sa VIP security and protection refresher course.

Sa lahat ng interesado ay maaaring mag-apply online sa official website ng COMELEC.

Ombudsman junks CIDG petition vs Abayalde anew

Maris Federez   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has rejected anew the motion filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) seeking the reversal of the decision to acquit former PNP chief Police General Oscar Abayalde of graft charges filed against him.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman said the CIDG’s motion still lack sufficient evidence that will pin down Abayalde to the case.

The resolution added that the CIDG did not submit new arguments that will prove the involvement of the retired general in the case.

The CIDG filed graft charges against Abayalde for his alleged involvement in the anomalous drug operation of police authorities in Pampanga in 2013. —/mbmf

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.

 

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