Anti-porn task force to stamp out smut in Oro

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014


WITH Cagayan de Oro City tagged as one of the top producers of online child pornography, the anti-pornography task force (APTF) in the city has re-implemented a 29-year-old law purposely to stamp out smut in the city.

The report was recently revealed by the anti-transnational and cybercrime division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

On Tuesday, the APTF went around the public markets in the city and internet cafés to disseminate information and later impose penalty to violators of City Ordinance 1890 (CO 1890), the city’s anti-pornography law, passed in 1985.

The task force is headed by city councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr.

The ordinance prohibits the “commission of certain acts offensive to public view, moral and decency, and imposing penalty for violation therefor.”

In the ordinance, it defines “lewd,” “immoral” and “obscene” as an act(s) or things done that “incites or arouse lust, depravity, wickedness, sexual violence, or in any manner corrupt or derail morality, good customs and traditions.”

It furthered that acts such as undressing totally or partially as to expose the genital parts, showing or demonstrating sexual scenes in public falls under the terms defined above.

According to the ordinance, it is unlawful to “print, exhibit, circulate, distribute, sell, offer or expose for sale, or give or deliver to another, or cause the same to be done any lewd, indecent or obscene book, picture, film, article, pamphlet, card, print, paper, writing, mold, cast, figure, or any other thing…”

“It shall likewise be unlawful for any person to post or display to public view any bill, placard, billboard, or other advertisement continuing pictures or illustrations of an obscene or immoral character,” it further stated.

Punishment

Lao said after the massive information drive, they will continue with the campaign.

“But the next time, we will be confiscating pornographic items and penalizing violators,” said Lao.

Next week, it is possible that the task force will start with the punishments granting that they are already done with the information campaign.

In CO 1890, any violator to the ordinance shall suffer the following:

On first offense, the violator will be fined of P500.00 while getting caught again of the same offense means doubling the fine.

But on the third and subsequent offenses, a fine of P1,000 or an imprisonment for six months or both will be imposed in the discretion of the court.

Also, third and subsequent offenses could result to the revocation of business permits and license of an amusement place.

Moreover, part of the APTF is to disseminate information regarding the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 (RA 9775) that prohibits minors from participating in any immoral activities.

Internet cafés

Meanwhile, City Ordinance 10536-2007 that was also part of the information disseminated by the task force states that minors are prohibited from internet cafés and videogame shops during class hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

However, the ordinance furthered that if there is consent exhibited through a consent letter, a minor is allowed to enter the internet cafés for research and other class-related activities.

On the same ordinance, selling of liquor and cigarettes, and inhalants like Rugby, to minors is prohibited in the city especially in gambling places and cockpits.

Information dissemination

Lao said Tuesday that the Task Force conducted information dissemination in major markets in the city regarding the ordinance.

He added that the campaign was coordinated with other agencies like the Department of Interior and Local Governance (DILG) and the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo).

Lao said the information drive was intended to inform the people especially vendors of pornographic digital versatile discs (DVDs) in the market.

“We are conducting this information campaign to let the vendors know that they should stop selling pornographic DVDs and obscene images because the city has an ordinance penalizing those who violate,” said Lao adding that obscene tabloids are also a violation.

Apart from DVDs, Lao said the task force will also include monitoring on internet cafés operating in the city.

He said the task force will check if the internet café operators have business permit, and if cybercrime like cyber pornography is not committed in these places.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Danildo Tumanda, Cocpo’s deputy city director for administration, said cyberporn is now considered as the no.1 crime in the country.

Tumanda said the city belongs to the top four sites for online pornography.

However, Tumanda clarified that although Cagayan de Oro is on the top four it does not follow that the operation is conducted in the city.

He said the report came from the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) that was reported to Camp Crame’s anti-crime division.

Tumanda said based on the reports, the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses based on the subscriptions on websites came mostly from the city.

“It is possible that the IP address came from Cagayan de Oro City but without being in the area,” said Tumanda.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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