Manila, April 11, 2019 — The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines partnered with the Office of the Ombudsman to train 35 anti-graft investigators and prosecutors on cyber investigations and digital evidence from March 27 to 28.
The training was implemented through the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT) and covered the Rule on Cybercrime Warrants, digital media privacy, and digital forensics tools. Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen delivered an in-depth briefing on privacy in digital media. The U.S. DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) Cybercrime Laboratory Director and Senior Digital Investigative Analyst led a hands-on session on digital forensic tools using CCIPS teaching laptops that U.S. DOJ brought to the Philippines specifically for the training. Participants learned firsthand how to preserve digital evidence, conduct basic digital analysis, and effectively present digital evidence in court.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission John Law opened the two-day workshop by recognizing the Office of the Ombudsman’s dedication to enhancing its cyber capabilities. “The Ombudsman’s Office is a strong partner and is showing a forward-thinking mindset in its efforts to train its officials on digital forensics and constantly improve its investigative and prosecutorial skills,” he said.
Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente noted, “Fighting corruption in the digital age demands new tools. Corrupt public officials take advantage of new technologies and stringent privacy law to hide their illicit activities. The anti-cybercrime training provided by OPDAT has opened to Ombudsman investigators and prosecutors a digital toolbox for ensuring the successful detection, investigation, and prosecution of public corruption in the digital realm.”
This is the first of a planned series to train investigators and prosecutors to effectively counter public corruption using digital forensics. It is part of the U.S. Embassy’s effort, through OPDAT, to enhance Philippine justice sector capabilities to combat transnational crimes.