NBI Crackdown on Cybercrime Offenses; Bong Go to public – Follow Legal Process

NBI Crackdown on Cybercrime Offenses; Bong Go to public – Follow Legal Process

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NBI continues crackdown on possible cybercrime offenses; Bong Go tells public to follow legal process and file complaints if victimized by fake news

Amid the continuing spread of disinformation on social media, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the public to abide by the law and exercise their rights to file complaints if they believe they are also victims of malicious and fake news.

“Parte ng ating demokrasya ang karapatan ng taong naagrabyado ng isang kasinungalingan na maprotektahan ang kanyang sarili. Tulad ninyo, may pamilya at anak rin akong nasasaktan sa mga paninira na hindi naman totoo. Tulad ninyo, lahat naman tayo ay may karapatan magreklamo gamit ang legal na proseso,” Go explained in a statement.

“Sumusunod rin lang ako sa kung ano ang naaayon sa batas upang maprotektahan ang karapatan ko bilang isang mamamayan, kasama na rin dito ang pag-enganyo sa iba pang naging biktima ng fake news na huwag matakot na magreklamo rin,” he added.

Go said that while he encourages critics to continue exercising their freedom of speech, malicious and fake news on social media should not be tolerated and justified as freedom of expression especially if it already causes harm to other people.

“Patuloy po nating ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng mga tao na malayang ihayag ang kanilang sariling opinyon. Sa lahat ng kritiko, go ahead. Ang kritisismo ay parte ng demokrasya. Ipagpatuloy ninyo po ‘yan dahil makakatulong ‘yan upang mas pagbutihin pa namin ang aming trabaho at mas maisaayos ang serbisyo ng gobyerno,” Go said.

“Pero kailangang intindihin ng lahat na iba ang sitwasyon kung gagamitin ninyo ang malayang pamamahayag upang magpakalat ng malicious at fake news,” he explained.

According to Go, abusive posts on social media prompted him to seek the help of the National Bureau of Investigation to look into certain accounts and posts that may have already violated the law.

“Maraming inihain na reklamo ang mga abogado ko dahil sa mga social media posts na malisyoso at fake news. Hindi ako titigil at patuloy akong magrereklamo gamit ang legal na paraan habang patuloy pa rin ang pagkalat ng paninira at kasinungalingan,” Go said.

He added that he will continue to exhaust legal means to put an end to disinformation for as long as there are still individuals who abuse their freedom by spreading lies that inflict harm on others. He emphasized that in the eyes of the law, every citizen has the right to pursue justice through legal means.

“Ginagawa ko ito upang turuan ng leksyon ang mga abusado na patas ang pagtingin ng batas sa ating lahat. Pareho po tayong may karapatan magreklamo at pareho tayong humihingi rin ng hustisya.

“Pero dinadaan ko sa legal na proseso ang aking reklamo para mabigyan rin ang akusado ng pagkakataong sumagot sa patas na paraan,” he added.

Go explained that it is within the mandate of the NBI to verify, investigate, and issue subpoenas to authors of alleged malicious posts on social media to determine if there are acts committed that are against the law and to give the accused the opportunity to explain and defend their side.

“Sa pag-issue ng subpoena ng NBI, binibigyan nito ng oportunidad ang mga akusado na magpaliwanag at mapakinggan ang panig nila,” he explained. Go added that “Lahat ng nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan, iniimbestigahan dapat ng NBI dahil trabaho nila ‘yan.”

In a statement released by the NBI, the bureau announced that for the past several months, there has been a significant increase in the number of cyberlibel complaints filed before NBI’s Office of the Cyber Crime Division.

NBI Cyber Crime Division Chief Vic Lorenzo disclosed that they received complaints from the public, government officials including Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Go, Cavite Representative Crispin Remulla, Kabataan Party-list Representative Sarah Elago and other national and local officials coming from places as far as Siquijor, Leyte and Cebu, among others.

Lorenzo stressed that the issuance of subpoena is a way to verify the veracity of the complaint and is part of due process to give opportunity to the subject of the complaint to be heard. This includes the validation of the subject post or whether an assumed post, as a result of identity theft.

The NBI is reminding the public that they are open to receive complaints relating to violations of R.A. 10175 or the Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012, regardless of their status in life, and political and organizational affiliation.

“Kung tingin ninyo ay wala kayong ginawang iligal, malinis ang inyong konsensya, at wala kayong inaapi, wala kayong dapat alalahanin o ikatakot. Sagutin ninyo lang ang paratang laban sa inyo at may proseso naman ang batas na poprotekta sa inyong mga karapatang pantao,” Go assured the public.

“Pero kung mapatunayang may ginawa kayong mali, panagutan ninyo dapat ang inyong kasalanan. Korte naman ang magsasabi kung ang inyong paratang laban sa inyong kapwa ay paglabag sa Cybercrime Law, laws on libel, o iba pang batas,” he explained.

Expressing his frustration, Go lambasted individuals who would rather waste time spreading fake news instead of helping the country in this time of crisis.

“Sa panahon ngayon ng krisis, busy kami na nagtatrabaho upang maprotektahan ang kapakanan, interes at buhay ng mga Pilipino. Nagseserbisyo lang po kami sa kapwa Pilipino. Pero ang iba ay sinasayang ang kanilang oras para magkalat ng kasinungalingan, busy manira, at dumadagdag lang sa problema ng bayan,” he said.

“Maging responsable sana tayo sa mga kinakalat nating impormasyon. Gamitin natin ang ating isip at salita upang makatulong sa kapwa nating Pilipino at sa ating bayan,” he added.

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