Marcos orders PNP to step up anti-cybercrime efforts

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to beef up its anti-cybercrime efforts during the first Command Conference of the PNP held at Camp Crame in Quezon City on Thursday. (Photo by Malacañang Press office)

In a decisive move to combat the escalating threat of digital crime, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered the enhancement of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) cybercrime countermeasures.

This directive was issued on Thursday at the inaugural Command Conference held at Camp Crame, Quezon City, marking a significant step in the nation’s fight against the sophisticated challenges of cybercrime.

“So, we have to build our cybercrime unit from scratch. Now, we need experts to do this. Magaling ang pinoy. So, for whatever reason, magaling ang pinoy sa IT, we seem to have a talent for it,” Marcos said.

Marcos highlighted the alarming surge in cybercrime cases, which escalated to 21,300 in 2023 from 13,890 in 2022.

He stressed the urgent necessity for the PNP to step up its capabilities in the prevention, detection, and investigation of cybercrimes, acknowledging the increasingly sophisticated nature of criminal activities.

The President further noted that the significant rise in cybercrime cases underscores the rapid evolution of technology and the imperative for the police force to adapt swiftly to halt this growing trend.

Additionally, he underscored the importance of upgrading the PNP’s communications technology and directed a more strategic approach in the procurement of equipment, especially in the realm of information and communications technology.

“We really have to come up with a plan to improve the communications capability of the PNP. You cannot do your job without being able to communicate because mag-aantay kayo ng instruction, mag-rereport kayo sa central office. So, that’s something that I think we have to look into very well. The advantage that we have is that technology is getting cheaper. Satellite phones are getting cheaper. All kinds of communications equipment are getting cheaper and better. So, tignan nang mabuti what it is that we can do so we can provide our people with the best possible communications equipment,” Marcos said.

Marcos reminded the PNP to ensure that their proposed amendments to the Reform and Reorganization Bill, currently pending in Congress, are included in the final version.

PNP Chief General Benjamin Acorda assured the President of close coordination with lawmakers regarding the proposed amendments.

“They are now giving me opportunity to review the Senate version before the bicam. And they are asking me to write a letter to include all the provisions that we wanted rectified from this Senate version of the reorg bill,” Acorda said.

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