Abalos: Don't settle child sexual abuse cases at barangay level

Abalos: Don’t settle child sexual abuse cases at barangay level

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 04:56 PM June 05, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. warned barangay officials that prison awaits them if they decide to settle child sexual abuse and exploitation cases at the barangay level.

Previous reports revealed that the country is considered a hotspot for online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) and child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM).

READ: Marcos vows strong stand vs online sexual abuse of children


“Ito iyong wina-warning ko lahat ng mga barangay, hindi na puwedeng mag-settle dito, hindi puwedeng mag-settle, I’m warning you, sa lahat ng mga nanood ngayon. Mga bata dito ang biktima. Ito’y krimen, hindi ito sasabihin kamera na nakatutok na ganoon, kasi may ganyang thinking eh, sabihin ‘di ba camera lang iyan,” Abalos said in a palace briefing on Wednesday.


(I’m warning all the barangays: you can’t settle it at the barangay level. I’m warning everyone watching today. Children are the victims here. This is a crime, even though it’s just in front of a camera. Because some people think it’s not a crime since it’s only done in front of a camera.)

“No, kahit camera, ke ano iyan, ito’y krimen laban sa bata. Kaya kung sino man ang makikipag-settle dito, I will make sure makukulong din kayo, I will make sure of that,” he stressed.

(No, even in front of a camera, it’s still a crime against children. So those who will settle this at their level will be imprisoned. I will make sure of that.)

Abalos further said that authorities are set to document OSAEC and CSAEM cases from now on and have already informed women’s desks about handling such cases.


According to Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano, barangay officials found to have been “willfully negligent” in such cases will be held liable under Section 4 of Republic Act 11930 (Anti-OSAEC Law) under the clause on permitting or influencing the child to engage, participate, or assist in any form of CSAEM.


“Kung negligence lang, baka admin case po iyan… ang liability. Pero kung mayroon na siyang willful negligence, meaning to say talagang he’s turning a blind eye deliberately na medyo alam niya na may nangyayaring ganoon, puwede siyang pumasok dito,” Clavano explained.

(If it’s just negligence, they may face an administrative case. But if there’s willful negligence, meaning to say they are turning a blind eye deliberately and they know what is happening, then this might fall into this category.)

He pointed out that the heaviest punishment under this violation is life imprisonment or a fine of not less than P2 million.

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Abalos also said that several government agencies, including his agency, the Department of Justice,  the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and others, are collaborating to combat OSAEC and CSAEM.

TAGS: Abalos, Barangay, online child sexual abuse, Sexual abuse

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