What Went Before: Cebu’s webcam sex ‘cottage industry’ | Inquirer News

What Went Before: Cebu’s webcam sex ‘cottage industry’

/ 03:01 AM January 17, 2014

In November last year, Dutch children’s rights organization Terre des Hommes disclosed the results of an online sting that used a 3D digital animated 10-year-old Filipino girl dubbed “Sweetie” to unmask Internet users who wanted to pay to watch a child engage in sex acts via webcam.

In less than two and a half months, Terre de Hommes researchers were able to identify over 1,000 adults who were willing to pay children in developing countries to perform sexual acts in front of the webcam.

Has Guyt, the group’s director of projects, said that webcam sex with minors—which usually involves men from wealthy Western countries paying children from impoverished nations for sex shows—is still “a cottage industry” and needs to be stamped out now.


The group said it wanted to raise the alarm about the new form of child exploitation that has tens of thousands of victims in the Philippines alone.


Six months earlier, the National Bureau of Investigation raided a house suspected to be a front for cyberpornography in a poor neighborhood in Cordova town on Mactan Island.

Around 1 a.m. on May 26 last year, the NBI arrested a couple in their house at Sitio (subvillage) Sung-ok in Barangay (village) Ibabao Cordova for telling their own daughter, a 13-year-old high school scholar and two others aged 14 and 17 to perform lewd acts for foreign online viewers.

The arrested woman said poverty drove her to use her children in pornography, adding that she and her husband had no jobs.

The two girls were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development but the boy escaped. The couple are now facing charges in court.

An Inquirer report in June last year said that at least 15 more families in Ibabao were believed to be into home-based cyberpornography.

The May 26 raid was not the first in Sung-ok. In June 2011, a couple were arrested for making their three children, niece and two other minors perform naked in front of a webcam. They were charged with qualified human trafficking.


The following month, in nearby Barangay Cogon, lawmen raided a house that was being used by a woman as a studio to let her young daughters and a cousin strip and dance for online clients.—Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives

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