Raps filed against couple in Cordova cybersex den raid
CHARGES of qualified trafficking and child abuse were filed in court yesterday against the couple who were arrested in a raid at their home in Cordova town, south of Mactan Island last week.
The couple were transferred to the Lapu-Lapu City Jail after spending five nights in the holding cell of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7).
But the mother, who is six months pregnant may be moved to another jail.
Their five children and one niece, who were reportedly exploited in the couple’s cyber pornography racket, are undergoing a two-week stress debriefing conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7).
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said the couple were escorted by Civil Security personnel from the NBI-7 detention cell to the Lapu-Lapu City Jail.
She said she recommended the mother’s transfer to the Cebu Provincial Detection and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
She said the center has better facilities for the mother, who still has to agree to the transfer.
“We’ll have her undergo pre-natal checkup,” Magpale said.
The Cebu Provincial Prosecutors’ Office earlier recommended the filing of charges against the couple.
The two stand accused of violating Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, and qualified trafficking, the latter being a non-bailable offense.
In an affidavit executed by the couple’s eldest 15-year-old son, the parents were accused of ordering their children to pose nude and perform lewd acts in front of an online foreign audience thrice a week for for two years.
Based on the NBI-7 investigation, the couple maintained two Yahoo! accounts to lure their foreign clients for a fee.
The children were placed under DSWD-7 custody a few hours after the raid.
“Their treatment planning which includes their education will be discussed based on the result of their psychological assessment,” Eppie Tartosa of the DSWD-7 crisis intervention unit said.
So far the children have not exhibited any separation anxiety after their parents were jailed, Tartosa said.
She described the children as generally quiet and submissive, not complaining and fighting with each other.
She said the DSWD-7 will find a relative who could care for the children.
Tartosa said they want to explain the situation to the children so they won’t be adversely affected by what happened to them.
She also said they prefer that the children remain together to better cope with the stress of their separation from their parents.
Tartosa said the signs of trauma may show during the latter part of their debriefing. “They need a longer time to heal,” Tartosa said.
Magpale said the Capitol may offer an Alternative Learning System (ALS) to the kids instead of sending them to school.
“It’s more important for them to undergo psycho-social intervention..they will continue schooling based on the recommendations of the psychologists,” she said.
Except for the eldest 15-year-old boy, the rest of the children were enrolled in a school in Cordova.
In yesterday’s session, the Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution that commended the technical working group of the Provincial Women’s Commission for their role in last Wednesday’s raid.
The resolution noted that the commission co-chaired by Magpale held meetings with the National Bureau of Investigatioand social welfare agencies to map plans for the raid and the turnover of the victims to the DSWD-7.
NBI-7 Special Investigator Jedidah Hife said the public can expect more raids in Cordova and other cybersex den hotspots in Cebu. Ador Vincent Mayol and Carmel Loise Matus With Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya
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