Philippine National Police to focus on cybercrime in 2023

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it was going to focus on cybercrime in 2023 and called it one of the “greatest threats” Filipinos face.

PNP Chief General Rodolfo Azurin said that cybercrime is the fastest-growing transnational organized crime “which affect hundreds of victims not only in the Philippines, but in other parts of the world.”

He added that it was one of the greatest threats to millions of users who have entrusted their personal data online.

Cybersecurity experts last year have urged the government to strengthen its cybersecurity infrastructure amid rising incidents of cyberattacks.

In September, The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the country’s telecommunication providers to block clickable links from malicious websites in text messages, following the recent alarming rise in SMS scams, many of which bear the receivers’ full names. These growing concerns led to the swift passage of the SIM Card Registration Act, which requires users to register their SIM cards in efforts to combat cybercrimes. Yet critics raised concerns on privacy and surveillance.

Meanwhile, Azurin said the PNP is focused on enhancing its capacity to detect and apprehend cybercrimes through “smart policing or secured, mobile, artificial, intelligence-driven, real-time technology.”