Bill seeks to authorize PNP, NBI to go after cybercriminals




By Rose de la Cruz


Rep. Bernadette Herrera of the Bagong Henerasyon partylist, filed House Bill 5651 seeking to authorize the Philippine National police and the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct electronic and communications surveillance of cybercriminals engaged in human trafficking and sexual exploitation.


The bill seeks to empower the courts, PNP, and NBI to fight the cybercriminals using the new technologies that criminals also have. This law updates the crime-fighting capabilities of the PNP, NBI and the courts," Herrera said.


She said the bill cites the heads of the Departments of Information and Communication Technology, Transporation, Health and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and NBI as members of the the Inter-Agency Council on Trafficking for a more holistic approach to fighting human trafficking."


She explained that these amendments to RA 9208 are the most extensive and detailed amendments to the Anti-Human Trafficking Law (RA 9208) involve its Sections 8, 16, 20, 21, and 24," Herrera pointed out.


"Kinailangan ang mga amendments na ito para bigyang-kakayahan ang PNP at NBI na labanan ang human traffickers and sex predators sa internet, social media, mobile messaging, at lahat ng sulok ng cyberspace. Naroon ang mga kriminal kaya doon din sila dapat tugisin, manmanan, at labanan ng PNP at NBI," Herrera explained.


In a related development, the Department of Justice’s inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy, is organizing the 5th annual Manila International Dialogue on December 12 at the Manila Hotel.


The IACAT is engaged in innovative, integrated and multi-stakeholder cooperation through the “Manila International Dialogue”, a platform for enhancing international cooperation brought about by an urgent need for a comprehensive international approach to prevent and combat human trafficking.


The first dialogue resulted in the signing of the “Manila Declaration”, an official non-binding document that emphasizes the intent and determination of all nineteen (19) signatory countries to cooperate closely, recognizing trafficking in persons as a serious international concern that requires innovative actions, continued dialogue, exchange of information, and cooperation, to address it.