Lucrative menace | Inquirer News

Lucrative menace

/ 08:08 AM July 14, 2011

Finally, after more than five years of acting as if cybersex did not exist in the locality, Cordova policemen pounced on a cybersex den last Tuesday, collared three women suspects and rescued two young girls, aged 8 and 9, and their 15-year-old female cousin.

According to a report by CDN, the girls’ mother was around watching the minors perform lewd acts before a web camera when the arrest was made. The illegal business was being carried out in the house of the girls’ neighbor. The house owner and the web camera operator, who is said to be a relative of the girls’ mother, eluded the police.


I heard the report while I was riding the taxi, and because I’ve been discussing the cybersex problem in at least five previous articles, I wasn’t able to restrain myself from commenting.

The driver listened intently to what I was saying but when our vehicle momentarily stopped at a red light, he turned and asked me, “Do you know how much a cybersex operator makes per minute? Mao nang misibaw kaayo nang cybersex sa Cordova, tungod kay ang singil ana, $10 kada minuto” (That’s the why cybersex is rampant, because the charge is $10 per minute).


I was floored by the information and forgot to ask the cabbie whether the cybersex operators impose a minimum of 15, 20 or 30 minutes before uploading lewd videos of young children. Nevertheless, the tip indicates how lucrative cyber pornography is, especially in a town where incidence of poverty is high.

Assuming the cybersex material being offered to an online customer lasts only five minutes, that’s $50 dollars or P2,400 at the present peso-dollar exchange rate of P48 to $1.

When criminal activities happen without hassle from authorities, the rewards of criminal activities, more often than not, also go to the pockets of corrupt law enforcers.

I hope the upcoming hearing by the House committee on public order and safety will look into this angle. Congressman Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district should demand an explanation why cybersex operations proliferate in that town.

Local authorities cannot say they were caught unawares for five or six years, because that kind of ineptness risks putting Cordova in the “Guinness Book of Records.” It would also be a barefaced lie because the parish pastoral council had alerted the local leadership years ago about the social menace. Judging from reports that the illegal business is thriving, surely Congress would have an idea as to who is sitting on top of the problem.

* * *

Congratulations are in order for the manager of the Cebu News Workers Cooperative or Newscoop, Ms Roberta “Mely” Verano and her associate in Victo National, executive consultant Audie “ Dudz ” Samson for having made it to the list of 2011 International Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) designates. As the title connotes, Victo’s power duo are dedicated and effective coop educators.


The recognition is significant not only for Mely and Dudz but also for Victo, which has been a leading light in the cooperatives movement worldwide.

I’m especially thrilled for Mely and Dudz because if time and resources permit (ahem), they will be feted in appropriate ceremonies in the World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow later this month. I understand Victo National’s Chief Executive Officer Mercedes “Ched” Castillo herself is Glasgow-bound.

The Philippine flag and Victo emblem will fly proudly, side by side during the international event and I have never felt more proud to be a coop member than now. Kudos, Mely, Dudz and Ched!

* * *

Today is a busy day for news hounds.

Congress is conducting a public hearing to listen to stakeholders of the aquaculture and fisheries industry on the move to amend RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. The forum is set to tackle 18 proposed amendments, chief of which is the move to create a new department out of the existing Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The public consultation opens this morning at the Capitol Social Hall with Cebu 4th district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon leading the legislative initiative as chairman of the House committee on aquaculture and fisheries resources.

The committee will listen to the public’s views on the different issues affecting the fishery and aquaculture industry, but it is the proposal to make a new department out of BFAR, which is expected to liven up the hearing, if not agitate representatives from the Department of Agriculture.

According to Salimbangon, the DA is vehemently against Congress’ move to remove BFAR from the DA jurisdiction.

I’m not surprised by the DA’s objection because it would significantly diminish its clout in terms of resources (P200 billion less for the department in annual revenues, if I got the figures right). In any case, the public hearings will give DA officials the opportunity to argue its case, meaning prove that the agency is performing creditably. However, I heard that in so far as Congress sentiments are concerned, it would be an uphill battle for the DA to retain BFAR as an agency.

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TAGS: Aquaculture, Awards, cybersex, Fisheries, News, Police, Pornography
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