Computer technician gets life term for online trafficking in Pampanga
Jun A. Malig
Published 1:40 PM, April 13, 2019, Updated 1:41 PM, April 13, 2019
ANGELES CITY, Philippines – A Pampanga court has sentenced a 26-year-old computer technician to life imprisonment for acting as a co-conspirator in online sexual exploitation of children in this city.
Judge Katrina Nora Buan-Factora of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 61 on Thursday, April 11, also ordered Christian Chaneco to pay the victims P200,000 in moral and exemplary damages.
The court found Chaneco guilty as “a co-conspirator in the scheme” and that “he participated by indispensable cooperation.”
The judge did not give merit to the defense of the accused that he was just doing his job as a computer technician and was only acting upon the order of his clients.
On July 12, 2013, operatives of the Philippine National Police Anti-Transnational Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrested Chaneco, Maybel Oranga, and Bryan Sagmit in a house in this city for operating a cybersex den.
Three minors and 3 adults were rescused during the 2013 operation.
The International Justice Mission (IJM), an international non-government organization, said in a statement that the victims had been recruited for computer jobs but eventually deceived and forced into performing sexual acts while being watched online by paying customers.
On July 26, 2017, Oranga and Sagmit pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of attempted trafficking and were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, the IJM said. The court also ordered them to pay the complainants certain amount of money based on the Memorandum of Agreement the two parties had signed.
Chaneco, for his part, refused to enter into a plea bargain and opted for a full trial.
Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, imposes a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to P5 million. (READ: Cybersex, media, privacy, and the cybercrime law)
Online sex exploitation of children also violates RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 and RA 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 that penalize offenders up to 20 years imprisonment. – Rappler.com