Internet cafe owner arrested; Quisumbing urges House inquiry
An Internet cafe owner and a caretaker were arrested by Talisay City police over the weekend for suspected cybersex activities.
Three women were also taken into custody for exposing their nude bodies in front of a web camera.
The cafe had cubicles and curtains as partitions for the privacy of customers to surf and chat on the Internet.
The three women admitted that they would strip for online viewers and were paid $100 per session, said Chief Insp. Eddie Recamera, Talisay City police chief.
Police are preparing a a charge of human trafficking against the men.
They are still weighing whether to charge the women, since cybersex per se is not a crime in Philippines law.
The arrest capped two months of intensified operations by authorities against cybersex dens in Cordova town.
Police said operators in Cordova shifted to Lapu-Lapu City Internet cafes to escape the heat after two big raids in residences in Mactan Island.
The House of Representatives last week passed a resolution to have the phenomenon of cybersex investigated by the committee on the welfare of children.
In his resolution, Rep. Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing of Cebu’s 6th district called on Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the cybersex dens that exploit children and women victims in Cordova town.
Cordova is part of the province’s 6th district.
Quisumbing voiced alarm over the existence of cybersex dens that exploited children in the municipality.
Last Friday, a13-year-old girl testified in court against her aunt and uncle, who allegedly exploited her and their five children in an online pornography racket using a web camera in their home in Cordova town.
The couple was arrested in a June 1 raid by the National Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Provincial Women’s Commission, which had received complaints about the family enterprise and a CD showing live footage of the children engaged in lewd actions.
The couple is facing trial for charges of qualified human trafficking and child abuse and are barred from visiting their children, who are housed in a separate facility.
Last July 12 three girls aged 9, 12 and 17 were rescued from a rented house in another barangay of Cordova used as a cybersex den. Three adult women were arrested by the Cebu provincial police aided by the Children’s Legal Bureau and social workers.
In the Talisay City case, 42-year-old Internet cafe operator Mercado of Victoria Village in barangay Tabunok and his caretaker, 31-year-old Clifford Caballero, were arrested Friday afternoon.
A female police officer acting as decoy went inside the cafe and saw female customers posing in the nude in front of web cameras.
The Internet cafe is located in a commercial building in barangay Tabunok, Talisay City.
Among the items seized were nine computer units with monitors, mouses, web cameras and assorted computer equipment.
Recamara said there was no need for a search warrant because the Internet cafe is a public place.
“We are also monitoring another suspected cybersex den, and based on our findings, there are minors involved,” Recamara said.
Charges of human trafficking will be filed against the suspects tomorrow.
Recamara said they are studying whether to file charges against the women who engaged in nude chats with foreign Internet viewers.
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