Gordon seeks probe on rising cybertheft incidents
Senator Richard J. Gordon has filed a resolution on Wednesday seeking a Senate inquiry regarding the unabated commission of cybertheft against the public.
Gordon, the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee chairman, said in Senate Resolution (SR) 987 that the Upper Chamber must investigate the rising cases of diminishing money from bank accounts of government employees.
“The Senate must spearhead an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on strengthening existing pertinent legislation on cybersecurity in close cooperation with law enforcement... to adequately protect the Filipino people, particularly those most vulnerable and the financial security of their persons and families essentially relying on our collective cybersecurity,” said Gordon.
Recent reports stated an alarming increase in complaints from Dept. of Education employees about unauthorized withdrawals from their payroll accounts in Land Bank of the Philippines.
Teaching and non-teaching personnel alike said that their hard-earned money was being reduced, while disputing that they were victims of a so-called “phishing” scam.
Phishing is defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers.
Benjo Basas, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition chair, said in an interview that 20 teachers and DepEd personnel reported unauthorized transactions in their Land Bank accounts, with the amount of money lost ranging from Php 160,000 to 200,000.
Gordon, a long-time lawyer, said that the state must serve and protect the Filipino people now that criminals are using technology to pilfer from the people's savings.
“The Senate is compelled to act on the vicious commission of cybercrimes against the Filipino people, particularly against teachers and other public servants, private employees, and businesses taking away their hard-earned savings, violating their financial security, assaulting their cybersecurity, and disregarding their rights,” mentioned Gordon.
Gordon also cited the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which states that there is a need to protect and safeguard the integrity of computer and computer systems, networks, and databases from misuse, abuse, and illegal access.
The Trade department's Consumer Protection Group has reported that there has been a shocking surge in the number of online transaction complaints, with 10,323 complaints in the first half of 2020.
It may be recalled that Gordon warned similar incidents against Social Security Service (SSS) members who have been victimized in similar fashion.
Due to the crimes, Gordon urged his counterparts in the House of Representatives to expedite passage of a bill mandating subscriber identification module (SIM) card registration.
“Once there is an enabling law that mandates telecom companies to screen and record every SIM card owner’s pertinent details, we can make sure that the numbers linked to crimes will make them responsible under the full extent of the law,” Gordon previously said.