Computer Crime Research Center


NBI exasperated over delay of cybercrime bill, hits CICT

Date: April 18, 2008
By: Melvin G. Calimag

An IT officer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has lambasted the continued delay in the passage of the country’s cybercrime law, pointing out in particular the failure of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to submit an industry-drafted amendment to strengthen a bill currently pending in Congress.

"We’re frustrated in our law-enforcement work because we cannot go after these cybercriminals. Every minute that passes without a law on cybercrime is always an opportunity for them to do what they want," said Palmer Mallari, executive officer of the NBI anti-fraud and computers crime division.

Mallari made the comment during the sidelines of a recent e-commerce forum sponsored by the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (PICS) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the Ateneo Professional School in Rockwell Center, Makati City.

The NBI official was specifically upset when CICT chair Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III delivered the event’s keynote and mentioned the agency’s current efforts to push for the ratification of a cybercrime bill.

"It seems all of these are for speech purposes and nothing concrete is being done," he said, adding that the NBI’s hands are tied in prosecuting IT-related offenses.

Mallari was indignant at what he said was the CICT’s inaction in submitting to lawmakers the amendments culled during a seminar on cybercrime held late last year.

The workshop he was referring to was the one sponsored by Microsoft Philippines that was attended by private and public sector representatives, including Catanduanes congressman Joseph Santiago, as well as foreign participants from the Council of Europe.

During the workshop’s conclusion, Santiago joined Roxas-Chua and Microsoft Philippines managing director Rafael "Pepeng" Rollan in signing a manifesto of support for a strong cybercrime bill.

Mallari said it has been almost six months since the amendments were turned over to the CICT, but the agency has yet to submit it to Congress through the sponsors of the proposed law. Before coming up with the recommendation, participants in the workshop met and discussed the needed amendments from July to November, he said.

But according to Roxas-Chua, the CICT has already formed a technical working group to firm up the amendments so it can be turned over to Congress. He, however, refused to indicate a definite date for its submission.

The technical working group is temporarily being headed by lawyer Teodoro Kalaw IV. He is standing in for fellow lawyer Claro Parlade, who is currently out of the country.

The Philippines desperately needs a law that will address emergence of new crimes such as cybersex and child trafficking. The country has an E-commerce Law, which was signed into law in June 2000 by former president Joseph Estrada, but this delves mostly on electronic evidence and penalties on common Internet offenses such as hacking and copyright violations.

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2009-01-14 23:02:49 - what's the latest on cybercrime bill? what... lina mallari
2008-04-21 22:54:01 - I never heard through my colleagues and... Rocky Delgado
2008-04-21 07:08:21 - is NBI in the congress technical working... Sarah Lopez
2008-04-21 06:23:27 - where can the public see this and can... Jun Pascua
2008-04-19 06:06:03 - the draft cict incorporating council... professor natus rodrgiuez
2008-04-19 05:58:14 - informal draft of cict with us ,team on... prof.natus rodriguez
2008-04-19 05:51:06 - Question :a video on the Utube has been... consuelo s. perez depcomm
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