Ex-PNP general expected to be named cybercrime council chief

A retired police general who used to head the anti-cybercrime unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is expected to be appointed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as the executive director of Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center (CICC).

File photo shows Gilbert Sosa, then director of the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group (left) with Raul Cortez, director for corporate and legal affairs at Microsoft Philippines

A reliable source told Newsbytes.PH that Gilbert Sosa, who is currently deployed in Malacanang as assistant secretary at the Office of the President, will be appointed as the new chief of the CICC.

Newsbytes.PH previously reported in 2016 that Allan Cabanlong, also a former policeman, was “appointed” as the CICC’s first executive director. However, he handled the role only in a concurrent capacity as assistant secretary for cybersecurity and enabling technologies.

The CICC, which was created upon the approval of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and is chaired by the DICT secretary.

The CICC executive director was supposed to be the cybersecurity czar in charge of formulating a national cybersecurity plan and extending assistance for the suppression of real-time commission of cybercrime offenses. However, with the passage of the RA 10844 — the law that created the DICT — the functions of the CICC and its executive director were transferred to the DICT. Thus, the main role of the CICC is now confined to coordinating anti-cybercrime efforts among law enforcement agencies such as the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

During his stint at the PNP, Sosa headed the police agency’s Anti-Cybercrime Group. He also served as provincial commander of Cagayan province. He retired from the police service in August of 2018.

UPDATE:

The previous version of this story stated that as CICC chief, Sosa will oversee the implementation of the Cybersecurity Management System Project, the country’s flagship cybersecurity initiative worth P508-million. According to DICT assistant secretary Allan Cabanlong, his office — not the CICC — will still administer the project.

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