TASK  FORCE  TO  BE  FORMED  VS  CELL  PHONE  SNATCHING

MANILA,
AUGUST 17, 2006 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - President Arroyo ordered yesterday Deputy National Security Adviser Virtus Gil to head a composite team that would put an end to the theft and illegal re-sale of cellular phones.

Mrs. Arroyo instructed Gil to form a task force with "police and operational powers" to curb the incidents of cell phone snatching, which have become prevalent and even deadly.

Secretary to the Cabinet Ricardo Saludo said Gil was given the marching orders to run after cell phone thieves after he presented a proposal for the setting up of a Cellular Phone Registration System (CPRS) at the Aug. 15 meeting of the Export Development Council in Malacañang.

Gil made the presentation in his capacity as head of Task Force Aurora, created last year to streamline front-line services.

He said only a re-liable CPRS would discourage cellphone theft and illegal resale because stolen units can be blocked out of cellular networks and traced once reported stolen.

Gil cited statistics from the Philippine National Police (PNP) which showed that incidents of cellphone snatching rose by 53 percent, and robbery involving cellphones by 35 percent from 2003 to the first quarter of 2006.

Aside from curbing cell phone thefts, Gil said the CPRS project would be useful in preventing cellphone-based scams and use of cellular phones for kidnapping and terrorist activities.

With the CPRS, all cellular phones and SIM (subscriber’s identity module) cards will be registered with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

In case a cell phone is stolen, the owner can report the incident to the NTC to have the phone disabled.

Mrs. Arroyo said aside from the CPRS, Gil should draw up a comprehensive plan with the NTC to finally stop cell phone thefts and their illegal re-sale.

Gil previously served as deputy chief for operations of the PNP before he was appointed deputy national security adviser and head of Task Force Aurora after his retirement from the police force.

GMA assigns deputy security adviser to stop cellphone thefts 08/16 3:17:26 PM

President Gloria Arroyo tasked Wednesday no less than Deputy National Security Adviser Virtus Gil to head a composite team that would put an end to cellular phone thefts and illegal resale in the country.

Pres. Arroyo instructed Gil to form a task force with "police and operational powers" to curb the incidents of cellphone snatching, which have become prevalent and even deadly.

Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo said Gil was given the marching orders to run after cellphone thieves after he presented a proposal for the setting up of a Cellular Phone Registration System (CPRS) at the August 15 meeting of the Export Development Council in Malacañang.

Gil made the presentation in his capacity as head of Task Force Aurora, created last year to streamline frontline services. He argued that only a reliable CPRS would discourage cellphone theft and illegal resale because stolen units can be blocked out of cellular networks and traced once reported as stolen.

He cited statistics from the Philippine National Police which showed that incidents of cellphone snatching rose by 53 percent and cellphone robbery by 35 percent from 2003 to the first quarter of 2006.

Aside from curbing cellphone thefts, Gil maintained that the CPRS project would be useful in preventing cellphone-based scams and use of cellular phones for coordination of kidnap-for-ransom and terrorist activities.

With the CPRS, all cellular phones and SIM cards will be registered with the National Telecommunications Commission. In case a cellphone is stolen, the owner can report the incident to the NTC to have the phone disabled.

The President said aside from the CPRS, Gil should draw up a comprehensive plan with the NTC to finally stop cellphone thefts and illegal resale.

Gil, a former police general, served as Deputy Chief for Operations of the PNP before he was appointed Deputy National Security Adviser and head of Task Force Aurora.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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