A lawmaker has sought stiffer penalties for cybercrimes.
“All over the world, incidents of cybercrime like hacking and computer fraud have become rampant. Bank depositors are losing money from their ATM accounts. Private corporations and even government offices are also falling victims to various forms of cyber scams and hacking. These crimes are tantamount to economic sabotage, causing irreparable damage to personal and company finances, as well as government economies,” Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said on Friday.
Atienza, also senior deputy minority leader, pointed out that government’s efforts to catch and prosecute these scammers have so far failed because of the meager fines imposed on them.
“We filed House Bill 4702 to amend and put in place stiffer penalties for those who will violate Republic Act 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998. Currently, violators are merely fined P10,000, which enables them to go scot-free after paying the said amount. Foreigners involved in these scams, when caught, pay the same amount then pack up and leave, transferring their base of operations elsewhere,” he added.
In Atienza’s proposed bill, fines for this offense will be increased anywhere from P3,000,000 to P5,000,000 and imprisonment of not less than 20 years.
The bill will also make cybercrimes non-bailable if the evidence of guilt is strong.
“Increasing the penalties and making it non-bailable will make it harder for these cyber criminals to slip away and guaranteeing that they will be prosecuted and made to answer for their crimes,” Atienza said.