By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda on Wednesday ordered all police regional offices to strengthen their campaign against cybercrimes.

“So part of our 2024 plans, looking forward is to intensify the capability enhancement of the police in addressing this aspect of criminality. In dissecting our crime statistics, although the crime volume went down, we noticed that the cybercrimes or crimes on the internet like scamming, are still there,” Acorda said in a radio interview.

Acorda said while the capability of the force’s Anti-Cybercrime Group significantly improved through training and procurement of more equipment, he cited the need for more efforts not only in terms of cyber-patrolling and solving cybercrime but also in encouraging the public to trust the PNP’s capability in addressing their concerns.

“While we do aggressive police operations, we want it done honestly and another one is integrity enhancement to really get the support of the people,” said Acorda.

In the first eight months of 2023, the ACG investigated a total of 16,297 cybercrime cases.

It also issued 19 warrants to search, seize and examine computer data, served 214 arrest warrants, conducted 140 entrapment operations and provided technical assistance to 24 ongoing investigations by other units and agencies.

These efforts have resulted in the arrest of 397 individuals and the rescue of 4,092 victims, mainly during operations against human trafficking.

In the last four months of 2023, the ACG saw a slight decrease in cybercrime cases.

A total of 4,362 cybercrime cases were recorded from September to December last year, from 5,607 cybercrime cases logged in the same period in 2022.

In terms of the PNP’s performance in 2023, Acorda believed that they did better as manifested by high trust ratings of the police based on some surveys.