Influential people behind sex trade in Davao, says NGO
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Some very influential personalities are behind the syndicated sex trade here that uses children, which is why the illicit activity has persisted, a non-government organization working with children said.
Bernardo Mondragon of Alert Davao said this information came from three victims who were recently rescued. But Mondragon would not say which influential personalities were involved although he added that some of them were “people in authority.”
Based on the accounts of the rescued victims, Mondragon said, the sex syndicate would recruit children, preferably males aged 16 to 17, and use them in making pornographic films.
The filming is done in small houses along the Davao Gulf through the use of cameras, laptops and spotlights.
“They even told us the exact location of the shanties,” he said.
He said that sometime last June, the police raided a house in Davao’s Sasa area, where pornographic materials were confiscated and some suspects arrested.
In August, police also raided an alleged cybersex den in Davao City and arrested alleged owners Mary Jane Bacani and Ivory Abregana.
Senior Superintendent Pedro Cabatingan, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group ) in Davao, said some expatriates were helping in the operation of the cybersex den and the operation in general of the smut industry.
The pornographic films produced here using children are sold in the United Kingdom and the United States, Mondragon said.
He said the victims begged off from filing cases against those behind the illegal activity “for fear of their lives considering that some influential persons are behind the illegal trade.”
Mondragon said the reason children were lured into the illegal trade was that they were promised large sums of money—up to P12,000 for 15 days.
Jeanette Ampog, executive director of Talikala, also an NGO working with children, said that the government was trying to protect the children. “But there is a need to strengthen the government’s programs,” she said.
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