Senatorial candidate Edu Manzano expressed alarm over the unabated rise of cybercrime cases in the country, the latest of which is the malicious spread of sex scandal videos that shame and destroy the lives and reputation of private individuals.
In a statement sent to The Manila Times, Manzano addressed reports that another sex scandal videos involving some celebrities are being maliciously transmitted online and shared on social networking sites in clear violations of existing laws against cybercrimes.
“It is very unfortunate that modern technology gadgets are being commonly used to commit crimes that debase and steal the dignity of human persons, especially among women and children who are mostly subjected to abuse and exploitation,” he said.
“We have more than enough laws to curb cybercrimes and yet, due to our easy access to Internet and the availability of smart phones, cybersex crimes are being indiscriminately committed right before our noses,” he added.
Based on its “2014-2015 Cybercrime Report,” the Office of Cybercrime—Department of Justice noted an increase of cybercrime cases, 11 percent of which pertains to violations of the Republic Act (RA) 9995, or the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.
“The government’s figures include only cases reported to proper authorities. There are several empirical and anecdotal evidence that show that most of these cybercrime cases remain largely unreported,” Manzano in the emailed statement.
Besides from RA 9995, the popular actor and TV host cited at least six more laws that should have prosecuted cybercrime cases, to wit: the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012; Access Device Regulation Act of 1998, E-Commerce Act of 2000; Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009; Anti-Trafficking in Persons of 2003; and Anti-Wire Tapping Law of 1965.
“It is time to review these laws to stop the continued rise of cybercrimes in order to make them more responsive and attuned to the technological advances and put behind bars syndicates and individuals who prey on their hapless victims,” the statement continued.
Manzano also noted with serious concern the shocking expose of a two-year investigative work “Children of the Cam” by an undercover Belgian journalist Peter Bridge who documented the operations of a cybersex den selling young girls in Iligan City.
“The global cybersex business has become a billion-dollar industry at the expense of tens of thousands of girls from impoverished communities who are being recruited and forcibly sold for online trafficking, pornography and sexual exploitation,” he said.
Manzano, who is running under the coalition party Partido Galing at Puso, ended his statement with a promise that he will immediately initiate a comprehensive review of all laws pertaining to cybercrimes should he win a seat in the Senate this coming May 2016 elections.