By Alexandria San Juan
The Quezon City Police District inaugurated Monday the first anti-cybercrime team office in the police district level, aiming to intensify the crackdown of online crimes in the city.
QCPD director Chief Supt Guillermo Eleazar led the inauguration of the new Anti-Cybercrime Team (ACT) office, which he described as a “dream come true,” at the QCPD Headquarters in Camp Karingal, Tuesday.
Eleazar, who served before as director of the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group, initiated the establishment of the ACT to safeguard the the securiy of Quezon City residents.
The establishment of ACT was funded by the QC Local Government through Mayor Herbert Bautista who also attended the event.
The office was equipped with the latest digital forensic equipment and personnel with backgrounds on anti-cybercrime operation, wherein cyber-related complaints are expected to be handled easier.
Chief Inspector June Abrazado, who headed the Cyber-Terrorism Response Team of PNP-ACG, will be leading the newly-established office in QCPD to provide technical assistance for the police stations and other units, conduct cyber patrolling to monitor criminal activities and netizen reports for proactive and timely police intervention and response, and conduct cybercrime crime prevention and awareness lectures
The Team will also be focusing on “top investigated cybercrimes,” which Eleazar identified as online scam, online libel, online threat, identity theft, and hacking.
Eleazar said that any criminal cases done with the use of technology will be penalized one-degree higher than the usual crimes.
To help the ACT in chasing cybercrime violators, the QCPD also tapped at least 400 anti-cybercrime volunteers “to monitor online activities that threaten the safety of local residents and the LGU.”
The QCPD chief said that volunteers will be attending refresher courses about their duties and responsibilities to ensure that cybercrime threats they may encounter in Quezon City will be monitored and reported.
Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo Año, who served as the guest of honor and keynote speaker of the event, commended the QCPD chief for the ACT project which is “undoubtedly one of the best innovative courses of action that must be emulated nationwide.”
“Ang ginawa ng Quezon City, tinutukan na niya lahat, hindi lang street crimes kundi pati cybercrimes. (What the Quezon City did is it focuses not only on street crimes but also cybercrimes.) In totality, we will fight crimes in whatever front. We hope na susunod na ang other districts, and hopefully the entire country,” Año said in an interview after the event.
Año also said that multiplying the eyes and ears of the public, through the anti-cybercrime volunteers, will serve as the early warning system of the police.
“Everybody should be aware that everyone has the responsibility. We will be validating their reports. It is easy to notice if they will be doing something for their personal interest and we will make sure that violators will be persecuted,” Año said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Meanwhile, incoming PNP Chief, NCRPO Police Director Oscar Albayalde said that the launching of ACT is one of the innovative ways to address the “emerging trends of crimes before it becomes like any other crime that we cannot fathom.”
“In so many forms, crime is moving from the physical to the virtual world,” he added.