Globalization, open economies and market, modernization especially advances in Internet and communication technology, increasing mobility of people and borderless inter-cultural exchange, provide a facilitative landscape for criminal networks to operate. Developing and underdeveloped countries, including the Philippines, with their current volatile socio-economic conditions tend to provide an environment for criminal elements to victimize and co-opt many of their poor.

In light of this, the OSETC, in consultation with key government agencies including task forces, councils and committees concerned with transnational crime, formulated the Comprehensive Programme to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (CPCTOC) for the period 2004-2010. The CPCTOC, must be viewed in the light of the legal framework provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Naples Political declaration and Global Plan of Action in 1994, the 29th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in 1996, the ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Organized Crime in 1997 and other major relevant international instrumentalities that have been ratified by the country and/or where the Philippines is a signatory.

Transnational crime, as defined in the program, refers to certain criminal phenomena transcending international borders, transgressing the laws of several states, or having an impact on another country. It covers offenses whose inception, prevention and/or direct or indirect effects involve more than one country. In other words, it is an offense that has an international dimension and involves crossing of at least one border before, during or after the fact.

There are eleven (11) categories of transnational crime covered in the CPCTOC, Each transnational crime is defined in the CPCTOC as follows: 


Terrorism is the premeditated use of violence or means of destruction perpetrated against innocent civilians or non-combatants, or against civilian or government properties, usually intended to influence an audience. Its purpose is to create a state of fear that will aid in extorting, coercing, intimidating, or causing individuals and groups to alter their behavior. Its methods, among others, are hostage taking, piracy or sabotage, assassination, threats, hoaxes, and indiscriminate bombings or shootings.

Illegal Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking is the illegal cultivation, culture, delivery, administration, dispensation, manufacture, sale, trading, transportation, distribution, importation, exportation and possession of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical.

Trafficking In Persons

Trafficking in persons refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipts of persons with or without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of the person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs. The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall also be considered as “trafficking in persons” even if it does not involve any of the means set forth in the preceding paragraph.

Arms Smuggling

Arms Smuggling refers to the act of any person who, through the use of any fraudulent machinations, shall import or bring into, or export from, the Philippines, or assist in so doing, any firearm or parts thereof, explosive or ammunition or machine, implements, equipment or tools for the manufacture of firearms. It shall likewise refer to the act of any person who, contrary to law, shall receive, conceal, buy, sell or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment or sale of said firearms or parts thereof, explosive or ammunition or machine, implements, equipment or tools for the manufacture of firearms, ammunition or explosives after importation, knowing the same to have been imported contrary to law.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is a crime whereby the proceeds of an unlawful activity as herein defined are transacted; thereby making it appear to have originated from legitimate sources. It is committed by the following: a)Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or property represents, involves, or relates to, the proceeds of any unlawful activity, transacts or attempts to transact said monetary instrument or property. b)Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or property involves the proceeds of any unlawful activity, performs or fails to perform any act as a result of which he facilitates the offense of money laundering referred to in paragraph (a) above. c)Any person knowing that any monetary instrument or property is required under this Act to be disclosed and filed with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), fails to do so.

Sea Piracy

Sea Piracy is described as (1) an act of any person who, on the high seas, shall attack or seize a vessel or, not being a member of its complement, nor a passenger, shall seize the whole or part of the cargo of said vessel, its equipment, or personal belonging of its complement or passengers; (2) any attack upon or seizure of any vessel, or the taking away of the whole or part thereof, or its cargo, equipment, or the personal belongings of its complement or passengers, irrespective of the value thereof, by means of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things committed by any person, including a passenger or member or complement of said vessel, in Philippine waters, and (3) any person who knowingly and in any manner aids or protects pirates, such as giving them information about the movements of the police or other peace officers of the government, or acquires or receives property taken by such pirates, or any person who abets the commission of the piracy.


Cybercrime, according to the Anti-Cybercrime Bill is any act that refers to any of the offenses such as illegal access, illegal interception or intentional interception made by technical means without right of any non-public transmission of computer data to, from, or within a computer system including electromagnetic emissions from a computer system carrying such computer data, data interference, system interference, misuse of electronic devices to commit such offenses, computer forgery, including intentional input, alteration, or deletion of any computer data without right resulting in unauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes as if it were authentic, regardless of whether or not the data is directly readable and intelligible, and computer fraud. Other offenses include cybersex, or engaging in (a) establishing, maintaining or controlling, directly or indirectly, any operation for sexual activity or arousal with the aid of or through the use of a computer system, for a favor or consideration; (b) recording private acts, including but not limited to sexual acts, without the consent of all parties to the said acts or disseminating any such recording by any electronic means with or without the consent of all parties to the said acts; (c) coercing, intimidating, or fraudulently inducing another into doing such indecent acts for exhibition in the internet with the use of computer technologies; (d) exhibiting live or recorded shows depicting sexual or other obscene or indecent acts; (e) posting of pictures depicting sexual or other obscene or indecent acts; (f) establishing, financing, managing, producing, or promoting a cybersex operation; (g) participating, in whatever form, in the cybersex operation; (h) coercing, threatening, intimidating, or inducing anyone to participate in the cybersex operation. Other acts of Cybercrime also include Child Pornography, propagated through a computer system.

Economic Crime

Economic Crime is referred to as commercial crimes and known also as “white collar” crimes. It is any act characterized by fraud, concealment, or a violation of trust and are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence.

Environmental Crime

Environmental crime is the deliberate evasion of environmental laws and regulations by individuals and companies in the pursuit of “personal interest and benefit.” Where these activities involve movements across national boundaries, or impacts upon the world as a whole, they can be termed "international environmental crime. The most common types of environmental crime fall under these major categories: (1) biodiversity; (2) natural resources-related crime; (3) wastes; (4) banned substances; (5) other environmental offences like biopiracy and transport of controlled biological or genetically modified material; Illegal dumping of oil and other wastes in oceans; violations of potential trade restrictions under the 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade; Trade in chemicals in contravention to the 2001 Stockholm; Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; and fuel smuggling to avoid taxes or future controls on carbon emissions.

Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property theft is used interchangeably with intellectual property piracy which is the unauthorized copying of goods, or works such as software, for resale by way of profit or trade; the production and sale by way of trade of copies of goods which have been made without the authority of the owner of the intellectual property; the facilitation of their production, and the distribution of such goods including importation and retailing; counterfeiting or pirating of goods facilitated by use of the Internet or satellite technologies, or piracy or theft of information or broadcasts, or unauthorized photocopying of books for education purposes, or of unauthorized end-user piracy of software beyond the purchaser’s license, or piracy of domain names or company names, or counterfeiting of currency; the unauthorized manufacture and distribution of copies of such goods and works which are intended to appear to be so similar to the original as to be passed off as genuine examples. This includes use of famous brands on clothing not manufactured by or on behalf of the owner of the trade mark, and exact copies of CDs containing any material or software, which are traded in a form intended to be indistinguishable to ordinary consumers from the genuine product. Intellectual property right is “the legal ownership by a person or business of a copyright, design, patent, trade mark attached to a particular product or process which protects the owner against unauthorized copying or imitation. Such property rights are an important element of product differentiation and confer temporary monopoly advantages to suppliers” (Pass, Lowes and Davies 1993: 265). The term intellectual property rights include copyright and related rights, trademarks and service marks, geographic indications, industrial designs, patents, layout-designs.

Smuggling of Cultural Property

Smuggling of Cultural Property refers to the act of any person who, through the use of any fraudulent machinations, shall import or bring into, or export from, transfer from, the Philippines, or assist in so doing, any cultural properties. Cultural properties are old buildings, monuments, shrines, documents, and objects which may be classified as antiques, relics, or artifacts, landmarks, anthropological and historical sites, and specimens of natural history which are of cultural, historical, anthropological or scientific value and significance to the nation; such as physical, anthropological, archaeological and ethnographic materials, meteorites and tektites; historical objects and manuscripts; household and agricultural implements; decorative articles or personal adornment; works of art such as paintings, sculptures, carvings, jewelry, music, architecture, sketches, drawings, or illustrations in part or in whole; works of industrial and commercial art such as furniture, pottery, ceramics, wrought iron, gold, bronze, silver, wood or other heraldic items, metals, coins, medals, badges, insignias, coat of arms, crests, flags, arms and armor, vehicles or ships or boats in part or in whole.


 What we do

The Comprehensive Programme to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (CPCTOC) highlights an integrated approach to the prevention, combat and eradication of transnational crime, under the following programme areas for action:


1.            Legislation and policy development;

2.            Institutional capacity-building especially strengthening the law enforcement agencies, banking and finance institutions and local government units;

3.            Strategic research, information and intelligence gathering;

4.            International cooperation and partnership development with critical agencies of the international community.


Some of the more salient strategies contained in the CPCTOC geared toward attaining the consensus vision and broad goals are as follows:

1.           Harmonization of Philippine laws and ensuring that these are likewise harmonized with laws, policies and procedures of international partners;


2.           Active involvement and participation of local government units in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime;

3.     Establishing a national integrated information and intelligence network through a shared central data base that builds on the advances of information and    communication technology including linking with the Interpol I-24/7;


4.          Simplifying operations systems and establishing focal points for each category of transnational crime, both at the national and local levels;


5.          Partnering with civil society for peace and order, public safety and local and national security;

6.          Pursuing judicial reforms;


7.         Continuing conduct of strategic research, case studies on good practices and cross-country comparative studies identifying critical success factors and models  to  prevent, combat and eradicate transnational crime; and


8.          Expanding and improving international relations, both multilateral and bilateral.