The Philippine National Police does not plan to monitor the vastness of the Internet to capture or prevent “cyber criminals” from attacking, its spokesman said Wednesday.

“Kung imo-monitor natin ‘yung mga exchanges sa mga social networks, mga nangyayari sa Internet, hindi ganyan ang mangyayari, mahirap gawin ‘yun,” PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo said in a phone interview.

Cerbo made the remark as the Cybercrime Prevention Act took effect Wednesday, met by protests both online and in various places, including the Supreme Court.

He said that unlike in the streets, where policemen have to be in patrol to prevent crimes, the PNP’s role in enforcing the newly-enacted law would be more on investigation and prosecution.

“Hindi naman ‘yan katulad ng kalsada na kailangan ng police visibility ano para magprevent tayo ng crimes… Papasok lang ang police diyan kung talagang may mga susundan na complaints at titingin kung may mga violation,” Cerbo said.

The PNP spokesman admitted that the new law proves to be another challenge to the police, with its “very technical” nature especially in tackling libel.

“Ang elemento na crucial diyan is ‘yung libel… magiging critical factor ‘yung training. Unang-una bagong batas ito, our units have to familiarize themselves at makita na lalo pa’t medyo teknikal ito at kakaiba,” he said.

Online libel, however, will be treated just the same as a regular libel case, Cerbo said.

While no “cyber criminal” has been caught, Cerbo said the PNP will focus on training its officers on the new law.

For now, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, which has its own anti-cybercrime unit and facilities, will bear the burden of probing and charging cyber criminals.

“As the need arises, later on, kung nangangailangan, puwede namang i-tap ‘yung buong Philippine National Police para sa pag-iimplementa ng ganitong klase ng batas,” Cerbo said. (John Roson)

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