The European Union, the Council of Europe and the Supreme Court through the Office of the Court Administrator held a training on cybercrime and electronic evidence for prosecutors and state attorneys in the Associate of Southeast Asian Nations in Makati City.
In his keynote address, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra stressed that “crime and criminals respect no state boundaries.”
“In this virtual and interconnected world, our collective defense against cybercriminals and cybercrime is only as strong as our weakest link. A critical mass of trainers is necessary if we are to establish a web of experts that can contain, neutralize and protect our entire region from the pernicious effects of cybercrime,” Guevarra said.
Prosecutors and state attorneys from 9 ASEAN member-states attended the four-day training held last November 20 to 23.
The training focused on cybercrime legislation, procedural powers in relation to electronic evidence and tools for international cooperation.
As crime is increasingly moving into the cyberspace, any type of criminal activity may nowadays entail evidence in electronic form. Securing such evidence to bring offenders to justice has become a major challenge as it may be stored on servers in foreign, multiple or unknown jurisdictions that are “somewhere in the cloud.”
The European Union and the Council of Europe, through the joint project on Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+), are working with countries worldwide to develop sustainable training programs on cybercrime and electronic evidence, both for the judiciary and for the law enforcement.
The Philippines has been one of the priority countries of this capacity building initiative since 2014, benefitting from training courses, legislative advice and exposure to regional and international conferences and workshops on cybercrime.
In March this year, the Philippines has joined the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, the only international treaty that provides a framework for cooperation between countries on cybercrime and electronic evidence.
For his part, EU Ambassador Franz Jessen congratulated the Philippines for its achievements and called on the other ASEAN countries to “become ambassadors for the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime...resulting in an easier common fight against cybercrime by having this convention as a common tool.”