September 9, 2022 | 10:22am
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government conducted entrapment operations in Sampaloc, Manila which led to the rescue of 15 minors who were victims of cybersex crimes in Manila.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr., two alleged sex traffickers were arrested and brought to the PNP Women and Children Protection Center for documentation and proper disposition.
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Abalos and Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, Metro Manila police chief led the operations where 15 minor victims used in sexual exploitation online were rescued during the said operations.
“These kinds of crimes are very disturbing, and the worst of its kind as they target and victimize innocent children. The impact of cyber sex crimes on children have long-term effects on them and oftentimes, ruin their lives,” Abalos said.
According to a PNP release, among those rescued were two Caloocan City students aged 13 and 16, who were alleged victims of online sexual abuse and exploitation perpetrated by their own parents, neighbors, and guardians.
Information verified by the PNP Women and Children Protection Center determined that the perpetrators sold the video recordings and online live streaming of the sexual exploitation of the victims to foreigner-clients.
“The goal is to protect the vulnerable sectors of the society is a holistic approach involving the community. From preventing them to be exposed to abuses to responding to complaints regarding human rights violations, the PNP calls on the cooperation of everyone to make these anti-criminality efforts sustainable,” Police Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., PNP chief said.
Facebook, YouTube data
This comes after a Manila court granted PNP cybercrime units two warrants to order social media giants Facebook and YouTube to disclose computer data and release subscriber information, chats, images, and other content posted on social media on the accounts of “Usapang Diskarte.”
The YouTube account went viral in July after it was exposed for publishing content promoting sexual abuse and the exploitation of children, including tips on grooming and luring minors into committing sexual acts.
Last August, the DILG, together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Justice, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology forged a united front on the proliferation of cybersex crimes.
Abalos said that the DILG under his administration strongly condemns cyberporn and other illegal activities particularly those which involve children.
“We have to take seriously these kind of crimes preying on our children online and end sexual exploitation by strengthening our campaign against cyberporn and providing them safe space online, now that they are more exposed to activities done virtually in light of the restrictions brought by the pandemic,” said Abalos.
“With the help of the DOJ, DSWD and the DICT, we can intensify our initiatives on tracking down cybersex dens and be able to save our children and minors from the abuse and danger,” he added.
He also urged the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activities to the DILG or the PNP hotline.