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Editorial | Cops on cyber patrol

Davao’s Finest will be patrolling cyber space for violators of RA 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Col. Noel Espinoza, the director of Anti-Cybercrime Unit XI, said a Cyber Crime Response Team in each of the 12 police stations, manned by trained cybercrime busters will be organized soon.

Col. Espinoza said the top cybercrime cases in the city are online libel, online scam, anti-photo and video voyeurism, identity theft, online threat, unjust vexation, sextortion, ATM and credit card fraud.

The latest bust was last February, when the anti-cybercrime team conducted two entrapment operations at the Davao International Airport. The suspects were charged with Republic Act 9995 (Anti Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009). Espinoza said the victims are usually threatened that their nude photos or sex videos will be uploaded on the internet.

In 2019, there were 143 cases referred to their office of which 36 cases were filed. We think there are more, especially victims of online scams, just that they do not really know where to seek assistance or are too reticent to ask for help.

As people now turn to the internet for almost everything, like ordering meals or getting a cab, protection against unscrupulous individuals on cyber space becomes necessary. We should not only learn to use the immense power of digital technology to improve our lives, we should also ensure that we will not be victims to crimes happening in cyber space.

The online scams, hate speech and cybersex crimes are all too real and can cause severe mental anguish and pain for those who are victimized.
Knowing where to run for help goes a long way in assuaging the angst of the victims, some of them suffering in silence.

Sci-fi has really come to life in the 21st century. And we hope to see action from our cyber cops doing battle with cyber bullies.

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