Poe to authorities: Uphold SIM registration law, arrest text scammers
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Grace Poe is urging law enforcers to arrest and jail text scammers in a bid to lessen the increasing cases of cybercrime in the country.
Poe emphasized that the SIM Registration law has “good provisions” that law enforcers, telecommunication companies, and other concerned agencies can use to catch cybercrime perpetrators.
“Nasa awtoridad ang responsibilidad ng maayos na pagpapatupad ng batas na ito. Ang sabi ko nga, kung may matibay na ebidensya laban sa mga nahuli na lumalabag sa batas, sampolan n’yo na,” Poe, the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act, said in a statement issued on Sunday..
(Authorities have the responsibility to implement this law. I’m saying that if there’s sufficient evidence against a violator, penalize him and set an example.)
“Kapag may nakita ang ating mga kababayan na nahuli at kinulong dahil dito nga sa mga fake registration ng SIM o nagbebenta ng pre-registered na SIM, kahit papaano mababawasan yan,” she added.
(If others see that authorities apprehend these perpetrators, violators will surely be lessened.)
Last September 14, officials of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) with the Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed how scammers could register SIM cards through cartoon character identities.
PAOCC likewise reported that authorities confiscated hundreds of pre-registered SIM cards along with various equipment used to register them. However, when asked whether these raids yielded any arrests, PNP said the operations are still ongoing and focused more on seizing the devices used for scamming.
For her part, Poe questioned what happened to these operations.
“Ano na ang nanagyari doon sa mga nahulihan ng may fake na SIM card? Hindi ba dapat iyon ang ikulong o kasuhan?” she said.
(What happened to people caught with fake SIM cards? Shouldn’t authorities jail or file cases against them?)
“Dati, kung may makita na may fake na SIM cards, hindi makasuhan dahil walang batas, ibig sabihin, hindi iligal ‘yun. Ngayon, binigyan na natin ng armas ang awtoridad sa pamamagitan ng batas. Umaasa ang ating mga kababayan na gagawin nila ang trabaho nila,” she added.
(Before, bearing fake SIM cards was not illegal, so we cannot file cases against them. But now we have the law, which we can use against them. Filipinos are hoping that authorities will do their job.)
The senator also expects the inclusion of live selfies in the verification process of SIM registration, which she proposed after identification cards bearing animal faces passed SIM registration upon the report by investigators.
Bolstering reporting mechanism
Moreover, Poe said government agencies should coordinate with telcos “to bolster mechanisms for reporting about text scams and related fraud.”
“Dapat may mas madaling reporting mechanism kapag meron tayong nakukuhang mga fake na SIM card o may mga nanloloko. Dapat laging may sumasagot sa telco hotlines na pwedeng tumulong sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(We should have an easier mechanism when reporting about confiscated fake SIM cards or someone who has them. Someone should attend telco hotlines to answer victims when they ask for help.)
“Dapat may timeline din ng pag aksyon sa mga nirereport at may agarang feedback para naman maging mas epektibo at mabisa ang batas,” Poe added.
(Reports and actions taken about a situation should have a timeline and immediate feedback to implement the law better.)