7 girls rescued from child pornography den in Davao
Police said the girls, the oldest of whom was 16, had been coaxed into pornography by their own mothers and were now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Senior Insp. Doren Mauricio, information officer of the local Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said the girls were rescued during a raid last Saturday on a house in Davao City’s crowded Barangay Bucana by officers from the CIDG’s women and children’s desk who were assisted by members of the Anti-Cybercrime Group.
The children performed in front of a webcam, which was connected online, and were being watched by an American “customer,” who would call the children’s names, and tell them what to do.
“Sometimes, he’d call them one by one; sometimes, he’d call five of them at the same time,” Mauricio said in an interview Tuesday. “The children would stand in a corner, stark naked, waiting who’s next.”
The raid resulted in the arrest of a woman identified only as April, 24, who was described as the mother of the two-year-old girl and another girl aged 6, and Kristine, 30, mother of two other girls among those rescued by the police.
Both women now face multiple charges for violation of Republic Act 9775, or an Act Defining the Crime of Child Pornography.
“Since the victims are minors, the offense falls under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense,” said Chief Insp. Crisle Cainong, chief of the Digital Forensic Laboratory in the region.
“If convicted, the suspects face life imprisonment and a fine of P5 million,” Cainong said.
“We want to educate the community about the bad impact of child pornography,” said Senior Supt. Joel Pernito, CIDG regional director.
During the raid, police seized electronic items they believed to have been used to broadcast live child pornography.
Pernito said the rescue was part of the government’s campaign against child abuse and the fight against cybersex trade, which makes children in the Philippines very vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.