LOCAL authorities on Tuesday, May 2, are looking into possibilities of expatriates abusing children following the arrest of an American national who allegedly sexually harassed a teenage female inside a motel in Cagayan de Oro City recently.
Divisoria Police Station Chief Maricris Mulat said they are now monitoring foreigners who are in the city, either as residents or visitors, who may be engaged in pedophilia.
The city has its share of foreign nationals, particularly Americans, Europeans and Asians, who call Cagayan de Oro their home.
Although cases of pedophilia or child abuse involving other nationalities are not rampant in the city, Mulat said they don’t want minors to be victimized by foreigners.
“We are keeping our watch and urging the people to report to the police any foreigner who may be abusing our children or violating our laws. We are not taking any chances,” the police chief said Tuesday.
She added they will also be monitoring the movements of foreign nationals hanging out in beer joints along the Divisoria area, the city’s old business district, especially those who have the tendency to abuse children either sexually or physically.
She said the
arrest of American national Anthony Bruce Mallet, 63, was the result of citizen’s involvement in crime prevention.
A concerned individual informed the Divisoria police that Mallet picked up a 13-year-old female within the precinct’s area of responsibility prompting Mulat and a team of officers to respond and raid the motel room in Barangay Consolacion, where the suspect checked in with the minor.
Police said the victim, a native of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, went with Mallet as she was promised payment in exchange for sex.
Mulat said Mallet, who is married to a Filipina, was charged with violence against women a few months back, but it appeared they have already patched things up.
She said the American could be charged with rape and violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Act.
Mallet denied the allegations against him saying he was deceived by the minor, who said she was 18 years old, Mulat said.
The suspect also told police no sexual intercourse took place during Mallet and the girl’s stay inside the motel.
Mallet was brought to the City Prosecutor’s Office Tuesday afternoon for inquest proceedings.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 03, 2017.