U.S. and Philippines Partner to Train Judges on New Cybercrime Rules

Manila, September 25, 2018 — The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT), trained 35 metro Manila cybercourt judges from September 20 to 21.  OPDAT, together with the Philippine Supreme Court and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), developed the training to help cybercourt judges implement new cybercrime rules, which the Philippine Supreme Court established in August 2018.

At the training, Supreme Court Associate Justice Bernabe provided an overview of cybercrime and the new procedures for obtaining warrants and other court orders for digital evidence in criminal cases.  Supreme Court Associate Justice Leonen presented on ensuring privacy interests in cyber investigations.  Other sessions covered the new rules on acquisition and disposition of digital evidence.  Ovie Carroll, the head of the U.S. Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section lab, spoke about digital forensics and techniques for recovering digital evidence.  Following the lectures, the judges examined and ruled on the applicability of the new rules against a hypothetical case.

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice and PHILJA Chancellor Adolfo Azcuna said, “The training proved highly successful and we look forward to more.”

The U.S. Embassy, through OPDAT, is working with Philippine partners to grow anti-cybercrime capacity by training judges, prosecutors, investigators, and other government officials, as well as developing cybercrime training videos.  OPDAT also helped develop a new cybercrime course for criminology students nationwide.  On September 24, OPDAT will provide a cybercrime training to the Ombudsman’s Office in Cebu.