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Senate ratifies bill on NBI cyber-age modernization

/ 09:08 AM February 05, 2016

MANILA — The Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee version of the bill to modernize the National Bureau of Investigation and boost its crime-solving capabilities through new equipment, facilities, and training.

The bill also increases the number of NBI personnel and sets its powers and functions, which include the investigation of specialized and high-level crimes, as well as other crimes as directed by the President or Justice Secretary as public interest requires.

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The measure provides for an establishment of a forensic and scientific research center to promote the use of scientific knowledge in evidence collection and preservation and in criminal investigation.

It also seeks the establishment of a cyber investigation and assessment center for computer information technologies, data on cybercrime cases, computer intrusion, threats, and other related crimes or activities.

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NBI agents would also get comprehensive and state of the art equipment to aid them in fulfilling their duties.

Among the priority cases of the NBI are human trafficking; extrajuducial and extralegal killings committed by state security forces against media practitioners and activists; killings of justices and judges; violation of the cybercrime prevention act; cases referred to anti-graft bodies; violations of the anti-dummy law; cases involving threats to security of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; cases where the alleged offenders are members of organized groups or syndicates; identification of victims of mass fatality incidents due to natural disasters; and financial or white-collar crimes.

One of the proponents of the bill earlier said the measure was necessary because of the growing sophistication of criminal activities, which has outpaced the capacity of law enforcement officials.  SFM

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