Law enforcers taught how to handle cybercrimes

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva October 23,2015 - 01:01 AM

Perpetrators beware. This was the warning issued by Cebu City Prosecutor Lolita Lomanta after a three-day workshop on  cybercrime for  law enforcement agents in Cebu province.

“We want to warn perpetrators that we are going after them. We are capacitating our police officers to respond to cybercrime situations and crime scenes,” she told reporters at Club Ultima yesterday.

Cybercrimes  involve electronic evidence stored in cellphones, computers, tablets, and flash drives, among others, she said.

The workshop was attended by 13 commissioned officers from the Philippine National Police, one from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and two from the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC).

They were taught how to recognize and identify storage devices found in crime scenes and how to preserve them as evidence to be presented in court.

The participants were also taught how to communicate effectively in order to  conduct trainings in the future.

Lomanta said there are many kinds of cybercrimes, but the most common in Cebu is online child pornography.

“I won’t say the cases are alarming, but in the last five years, we saw a dramatic increase in online child pornography as seen in the number of reports and raids,” she said.

Other types  include online libel, hacking, illegal interception, illegal access, and online theft.

The workshop in Cebu was the first of its kind outside  Luzon region.

The last one was held in  in Pampanga and attended by fiscals in July. It was organized by the DOJ and the Council of Europe (COE).

Supt. Richard Oliver, Bogo City police chief, said he learned that law enforcers shouldn’t tinker with evidence like flash drives.

“We used to scan these devices for intelligence purposes. But we shouldn’t do this because it may affect the electronic time stamp of the device, which the defense can use to their advantage,” Oliver said.

In Bogo City, he said they have not recorded any cybercrime cases but have encountered situations where electronic devices were used in a crime.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, PWC co-chairperson, thanked the organizers for bringing the workshop to Cebu.

She said  the PWC was at a loss when it encountered its first case of online child pornography a few  years ago.

Magpale assured that PWC is more equipped now to conduct its own operations .

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Prosecutor Lolita Lomanta, cybercrimes, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Provincial Women's Commission

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