Mother arrested for exposing daughter, other teenage girls to cyberpornography
Police arrested a mother on Wednesday for allegedly exposing her daughter and other teenage girls to cyberpornography in Barangay Sangat, San Fernando town, 41 kilometers south of Cebu City.
Her 15-year-old daughter and two other girls were rescued past 4 p.m.
Although the law against human-trafficking allows the media to identify the perpetrators, Cebu Daily News has withheld the name of the suspect in this case to protect her daughter.
Lawyer John Tanagho, director of the International Justice Mission Cebu Field Office, said the recent operation was the sixth against those allegedly involved in an online sexual operation in Cebu since January 2018.
“This operation shows that Philippine law enforcement is able to track down and arrest individuals who sexually abuse children and sell ‘live-streams’ of that abuse to pedophiles around the world in exchange for money,” said Tanagho in a press statement.
“If the community — whether teachers, neighbors, NGO workers, anyone — would provide tips or referrals to the police of so-called cyberpornography in their community, then more victimized and traumatized children could be rescued sooner before enduring years of abuse,” he added.
Charges for violating Republic Act RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act are being readied against the mother, which authorities estimate to be in her late 30s.
Since the victims are minors, the case falls under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense.
The Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center – Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) conducted surveillance operations against the suspect for about a month after they received reports that she was involved in cybersex operations.
The suspect reportedly sends sexually explicit photos of minors, and later offers to sexually abuse the girls and live-stream it for men to watch online, according to the police.
Authorities hatched an operation to arrest the mother.
Wednesday’s operation was done in coordination with the Cebu Provincial Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD), Cebu Provincial Police Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, Department of Social Welfare and Development Region (DSWD) and IJM, a global organization that fights human trafficking.
The rescued victims were turned over to the DSWD for psychosocial interventions, including therapy and rehabilitation.
As of April 2017, IJM has supported Philippine law enforcement agencies in operations against anti-online sexual exploitation of children, which has led to the arrest of 133 perpetrators and the rescue of 302 victims around the country since 2011. Over 27 have been convicted. /ee
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