NEWS: Internet cafes given til December to dismantle cubicles

Aftermath of UM Tagum sex


oct 27

Internet cafes are given until December to dismantle their long, unauthorized semi-closed cubicles that authorities considered as one of the physical reasons that led to improper use of the Internet, said a report of a local Visayan paper last Friday.

But Vice Mayor Allan Rellon said in text message yesterday that while the Internet Café Advisory Board (ICAB) in its recent meeting agreed to still make the dismantling of the cubicles optional for now ICAB is enforcing to establishments wanting to put cubicles for privacy purposes to comply with the regulated height of up to four feet or face sanctions as provided by the city ordinance regulating operations of internet cafes. .

In earlier report, Councilor Joey Millan said that cubicles that are intended to protect privacy in communication have not actually led to increase of internet users that benefit internet cafes.

Reports said earlier that long cubicles have been used as a cover of the youths like high schoolers to surf pornographic sites in the web or malicious chatters to show their private parts on webcams to the ones they are chatting with.

The same report said that the victim UM Tagum student who was secretly camcorded resulting to the spread of what was dubbed as UM Tagum sex scandal video has already filed a case against suspects after NBI Tagum agents raided Oct. 15 the Aroma Internet and Computer located in Suarez Building along Sobrecarey Street.

The raided establishment is owned by Edgardo Silagan, president of the Internet Café Association of Tagum City (ICAT). His branch along Mabini St. has been closed for about two weeks.

The raiding team led by Head Agent Lorenzo Tan seized 23 computer units including webcams and other peripherals which were sent to Manila for the NBI computer experts to track on “cookies” that could leave imprints on the recording of the UM Tagum sex scandal video that shocked the city two months ago.

In an earlier interview at the height of the stunning news on Tagum sex scandal video, Silagan said that owners of internet cafes are usually entrepreneurs who did not know about technicalities of computer programs but he also admitted that there are some owners who know about it.

In that interview, he also expressed apprehension over what legal repercussions internet café owners would be culpable of if one of their attendants did something wrong without their knowing.

NBI agent Tan said that the suspected internet café will be facing a case for alleged violations to Republic Act 9208 otherwise known as Anti-Trafficking Law. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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