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Special Courts for Cybercrimes in Bacolod

When Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was enacted, there were a lot of criticisms hurled and it was even questioned in the Supreme Court. Aside from the fears of curtailing freedom of expressions the other concern was how can a technology relatively new be made to suit an antiquated court system. The concern was that conventional lawsuits and cases are already flooding the dockets, if cybercrime would be included, the trials and resolutions would take years to resolve and promulgate.

The Supreme Court (SC) aims to address these issues with regards to RA10175 by designating certain branches of the Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) to handle the trials and confer decisions on such cybercrime cases. 

The RTC branches that are designated as “special commercial courts in its administrative matter on June 17, 2003 are hereby further designated as cybercrime courts to try and decide cybercrime cases covered under RA 10175, in addition to their designation as special commercial courts.” As stated by the SC.

“The cybercrime courts in the judicial regions shall have territorial authority over the entire region where the RTC is located for purposes of exercising the special jurisdiction granted herein,” the SC added.

“Accordingly, cybercrime cases shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of Court in the official station of the proper cybercrime courts,” the SC also said.

According to Section 1 of the cybercrime law provides that “three (3) additional branches of the Regional Trial Court to be stationed in the City of Bacolod, situated in the Province of Negros Occidental, are hereby created in the Sixth Judicial Region.”

“The Supreme Court shall assign the branch numbers of the newly created Regional Trial Court branches in the Sixth Judicial Region,”  as cited in  RA 10175’s Section 2.

Section 3 of RA 10175  stated that “the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in coordination with the Secretary of the Department of Justice, shall immediately include in the court’s program the operationalization of the additional Regional Trial Court branches to be stationed in the City of Bacolod, Province of Negros Occidental, the funding of which shall be included in the Annual General Appropriations Act. The funds necessary for the operation of the courts herein created shall be appropriated and released only upon the actual organization of the courts and the appointment of its personnel.”

RA10175 Addresses the following Cybercrimes:

1. Hacking
2. Cybersquatting
3. Cybersex
4. Cyber Child Pornography
5. Libel
6. System Interface
7. Spamming
8. Identity Theft

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