Young mom arrested for taking nude photos, videos of daughters
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A 22-year-old mother was arrested for allegedly taking nude photos and videos of her two young daughters and selling the images online to foreigners.
Melissa (not her real name) was shooting a video of her two children aged 5 and 2 while taking a bath near a well in Barangay Buagsong, Cordova town on Mactan Island on Saturday when police arrived.
Melissa is detained at the Fuente Police Station in Cebu City pending the filing of charges against her.
Since the victims are her own kids, the case falls under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense.
While the law against human trafficking allows the media to identify the accused, Inquirer has withheld the name of the suspect to protect the identities of her children.
Melissa admitted taking nude photos and videos of her two children but claimed she didn’t know that what she was doing was wrong.
She claimed that it was her first time to do so upon the request of an online friend.
“Inosente gyud tawn ko. (I’m innocent),” she said.
Chief Insp. Rose Santolorin of the Women and Children Protection in the Visayas said they conducted online investigation and surveillance operations against Melissa who transacted with at least 70 foreign clients.
Melissa, 22, used her cellular phone in taking nude photographs and videos of her daughters, making it hard for investigators to catch her.
A poseur customer transacted with the suspect who gave in to the request to take photographs and videos of her naked children for $70 (P3,290 at P47 to the dollar).
Authorities have been monitoring Cordova town where a number of individuals were arrested for cyberpornography operations.
Instead of using laptops, Santolorin said several residents shifted to using cellular phones to make it difficult for authorities to trace them.
“That’s really been our challenge. I hope people engaged in this kind of business will realize that what they are doing is undoubtedly wrong,” she said.
Santolorin said poverty should never be a reason for people to resort to cyberpornography, some of whom used their children as subjects of lewd acts as demanded by foreign clients.
“This kind of business destroys the dignity of people, especially if those involved are your kids,” she said. CDG/rga
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