Senate OKs bill imposing life sentence, hefty fine for bank hackers
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading the measure which seeks life sentence and a hefty fine for those proven to be engaging in the hacking of bank systems.
With 20 affirmative votes, no abstentions, and no negative votes, the Senate approved House Bill 6710, which amends RA 8484 or the “Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998”, in a move to address the prevalence of financial fraud and crimes amid the development of technology.
Under the measure, those engaging in the hacking of a bank’s system or skimming of 50 or more automated teller machine (ATM) cards or online banking accounts, credit cards and debit cards would be sentenced to life imprisonment and fines ranging from P1 million to P5 million.
The measure considers the crime as a form of economic sabotage.
Meanwhile, those who are proven to possess skimming devices or those proven to attempt to access an application or online banking account will also be given punishment.
Those who possess 10 or more card skimming device and was able to access at least one account would be fined at least P500,000 on top of 12 to 20 years in jail.
Those who possess 10 or more card skimming device but was not proven to access any account would be fined P300,000 as well as six to 12 years in jail.
Fraudulent use of credit cards, meanwhile, is punishable by four to six years and a fine double the amount of money used.
The bill also tasks National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to submit reports on access device fraud incidents and pursue an investigation on related cases.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero underscored the need to amend RA 8484 through the new bill by including ATM fraud and other technology-based fraud as technology develops in the country.
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