Anti-porn drive in Oro intensified

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


DESPITE Cagayan de Oro City council’s deletion of the budget for the Regulatory and Complaints Board (RCB), the group won't budge to conduct surprise raids and penalize the culprits of spreading pornographic materials in the city.

Lawyer Beda Joy Elot, chair of the RCB, said on their next round they will be conducting unannounced inspections in areas where selling of pornographic materials is prevalent.

“The budget will affect the RCB but despite that we are doing our job. It will not hinder us from doing our mandate,” Elot said.

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She added that on their next inspections they would also confiscate pornographic materials and impose the corresponding penalties and sanctions indicated in City Ordinance 1890 (CO 1890).

Anti-pornography drive in Cagayan de Oro
CAGAYAN DE ORO. Members of the Regulatory and Complaint Board and Task Force Anti-Pornography visit some DVD outlets in the city and warn the owners to stop selling porn movies or face charges. (Joey P. Nacalaban)

CO 1890 is the city’s anti-pornography ordinance that was passed 29 years ago, in 1985.

Elot said in CO 1890 there are sanctions and penalties that could reach the level of imprisonment.

City councilor Teodulfo Lao, a member of the RCB, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that after their massive information campaign they will start to penalize violators of CO 1890.

Violators spotted

While the RCB was conducting its information drive routine in Barangay Lapasan, Lao noticed some anomalous operations at Market City.

Lao said there are Internet cafés without blocking system against pornographic sites.

He added that some digital versatile disc (DVD) vendors and ‘Pisonet’ (coin-operated computers) operators do not have business permits.

Lao pointed out that minors are using some “pisonets.”

During the inspection, Senior Inspector Ivan Viñas of Lapasan police station said they found an Internet café that accessed online pornography.

Viñas said the technical team of the RCB through their technical expertise in using the computer was able to detect the pornographic operations of the Internet café.

Rachel Manahan, a DVD vendor at Market City, said although she does not sell pornographic DVDs but claimed there are DVD vendors who sell porn movies.

Manahan disclosed that selling of porn movies in the area is rampant before, but the culprits opted to close their stores due to the inspections.

“Naay gabaligya diri sa una, gikalat lang diha sa dalan. Wala na karon kay nahadlok sila,” Manahan said.

Manahan commended the efforts of the RCB saying that it is good to inform and spread awareness to the customers that it is prohibited in the city.

Viñas confirmed the rampant selling of porn movies at Market City before but recently those vendors closed their stalls.

“The police in Lapasan is ready and willing to support the campaign of the RCB,” he said when asked if they are ready for the raids.

Difficult to control

“Porn is difficult to control,” Elot said, adding that they cannot eradicate pornography in the city alone.

Elot said the RCB needs the cooperation of the public while they do massive information campaign to get their cooperation.

She added that pornography is easily accessible because it is available online.

Elot added they would closely coordinate with the community.

“The RCB will communicate with the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) in schools because we want to help them become more aware about pornography,” said Elot.

Elot added the vendors of DVDs in the city were already informed about the anti-pornography.

Penalty

CO 1890 states that on first offense, the violator will be fined of P500 and second violation would mean doubling the fine.

On the third offense, a fine of P1,000 and a possible imprisonment for six months will be suffered by the offenders.

Also, third and subsequent offenses could result to revocation of business license or permits to sell. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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