Gatchalian prods Duterte admin to go after text spam syndicates


Prodding the Duterte administration to go after “spam syndicates,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian pressed government regulators and security officials Friday to step up a crackdown against cybercriminal syndicates misusing the widely popular Internet link-ups.

The senator suggested that the concerned agencies—Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)’s Cybercrime Division and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group—closely link up with international cyber-security agencies in tracking down cyber criminals.

In a news statement, Gatchalian on Friday disclosed he, too, had been receiving “text spams,” or scam text messages offering non-existent jobs almost on a daily basis for several weeks now.

He proposed a no-nonsense clampdown on global cybercrime syndicates behind spam text messages, noting the urgent need to “wage a no-nonsense clamp down” against cybercriminal operations in the country,” reminding authorities to work hand in hand with organizations and institutions that address international cyber security.

The lawmaker aired the alert in the wake of “recent revelations” by the National Privacy Commission’s (NPC) noting “the onslaught of spam text messages offering nonexistent jobs” traced to be the “handiwork of global crime syndicates.”

“Authorities should leave no stone unturned in unmasking the culprits behind these smishing activities and to at least put a stop to the latest scam trend they have employed.”

At the same time, Gatchalian goaded the NPC and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to look into the revelations of tech expert Art Samaniego who tagged a Chinese web site appeared to be “among the sources of the text spams.”

The senator said the information conveyed to the Senate panel might be of help in stopping the Internet anomalies based on the initial findings of the NPC investigation indicating it to be the handiwork of global crime syndicates.

Gatchalian added some of his staff who also received text spam engaged the text senders and noticed the senders could not communicate in Filipino.

As provided in Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 176 or the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act seeks the mandatory registration of all users of SIM cards to better track fraudsters because they use prepaid SIM cards as a tool to carry out their illicit activities. 

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