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NBI nabs suspected pedophile in Malolos

NBI agents arrest Anselmo Eco Jr., a suspect in exploiting five minors including a baby, during an entrapment operation in Malolos, Bulacan, on March 8. The raid was led by the Malolos police in coordination with Norwegian police and US Homeland Security.—MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

A suspected pedophile involved in online child pornography was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Malolos, Bulacan, on Thursday in a joint entrapment operation with the Philippine National Police and foreign law enforcement agencies that also resulted in the rescue of five minors.

Janet Francisco, chief of the NBI Anti-Human Trafficking Division, identified the suspect as Anselmo Eco Jr., who had been running an online site for child pornography and live streaming of sex shows with minors since 2011.

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Even own relatives

His victims, some of whom were even his relatives or neighbors, were aged 2 to 8 and were exploited in videos that were sold to foreigners for at least P5,000 per show, Francisco said.

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Francisco said Eco was a notorious pedophile and sexual exploiter of children.

By Eco’s own account, some of his victims were even volunteered by their own relatives for a P500 cut on the profit.

Eco became the target of an entrapment operation in 2017 after the NBI learned that he was already being monitored by the Norwegian police, the US Homeland Security and the PNP particularly for his transactions with foreigners.

Eco was later arrested in his home in Malolos, Bulacan province, where law enforcers rescued an infant and four children aged 2 to 16.

‘Unprecedented’

They also seized several computers and electronic devices that stored child pornography during the raid.

Sam Inocencio, national director for the International Justice Mission, noted the “unprecedented” number of agencies both local and foreign who worked together to rescue vulnerable children.

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Eco admitted to exploiting the children but denied that he had actual sexual relations with them.

He will be facing charges of qualified trafficking and violation of Republic Acts No. 7610 and 10175, said Francisco.

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