Just call them, cyber-crimebusters.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) activated Wednesday a special unit that will focus on all crimes relating to information and communication technology.
Dubbed as the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), the new national support unit of the PNP will be the one receiving and acting on the complaints on internet-related crimes such as credit card fraud, internet scams and even sex scandals uploaded to social media.
Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, said the activation of the ACG is anchored on the approval of the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” in September last year.
“The Anti-Cybercrime Group will serve as the primary unit responsible for the implementation of pertinent laws on cybercrimes and anti-cybercrime campaigns of the PNP and the national government,” said Purisima.
“It’s creation also highlights the PNP’s goal of having a centralized body that is dedicated in handling cybercrimes to enhance the overall efficiency of the PNP to solve and prevent criminality,” he added.
Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa was named as the commander of the ACG, which will be equivalent to other important PNP unit like the Anti-Kidnapping Group, the Highway Patrol Group and the Maritime Group.
Purisima said the new unit will focus on cybercrime offenses, computer-related offenses, and other content-related offenses such as cybersex, child pornography, unsolicited commercial communication, and other related offenses.
He added that the PNP-ACG will also be a part of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), an inter-agency body under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, for policy coordination among concerned agencies and for the formulation and enforcement of the national cyber security plan.
The activation of the ACG came as the government is struggling to have the Cybercrime Law acceptable to the Filipinos who fear that the new law goes against the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
The PNP leadership, however, has been favoring the Cyrbercrime Law, noting the increasing number of internet-related crimes and the growing popularity of social media, which police said, also becomes an avenue to commit criminal activities.