Couple in Cordova charged for ‘operating’ cybersex den-A A +A
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
FOR allegedly operating a cybersex den in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova, a couple will face trial after they were charged by the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Petronio Elesterio found enough evidence to indict Jane, 30, and John, 37, (not their real names) with violating Republic Act (RA) 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
No bail was set for both accused, whose case was resolved after they opted not to file counter-affidavit during their inquest proceeding last Friday.
An inquest is a summary inquiry meant to check if a warrantless arrest of a person can be justified by probable cause.
Last Wednesday afternoon, the couple was arrested inside their home in Sitio Lower Sun-ok, Barangay Ibabao by a team from the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RAHTTF) of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Their three children (aged 11, 9, and 3) were rescued and brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 office.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale assured Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal the aftercare of child-victims of cyber pornography in Cordova will continue.
Magpale met Vidal last Monday in a luncheon meeting.
Magpale said the cardinal is concerned about the aftercare of the children.
Last Friday, 12 girls and a boy were rescued in an anti-cybersex operation conducted by the Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking.
This was two days after a couple was arrested for using their three children for cybersex.
The victims of the two anti-cyber pornography operations are under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7.
After the program, the victims will be turned over to the PCWC from the DSWD 7.
Magpale, chairperson of the Provincial Commission for the Welfare of Children, said she will meet with Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III about the assistance Capitol will give to privately-managed facilities since it is difficult for the Province to create one right now.
Magpale warned the parents engaged in cybersex activity that it’s no longer to apprehend them due to technology.
She said Capitol is updating its technology.
On May 26, a couple was arrested by the NBI-Anti-Human Trafficking Division after they used their 13-year-old child for cyber pornography in Cordova.
Human rights group International Justice Mission (IJM) lauded the efforts of authorities in curbing online pornography.
“There are many more like them in Cordova and other parts of Cebu,” said IJM Philippines Director Andrey Sawchenko. “We look forward to fight this terrible trade of innocence.”
In an earlier report, the couple allegedly earn at least US$100 dollars or about P4,450 per client.
The RAHTTF team received a report from US Department of Homeland Security about Jane’s illegal activity last Aug. 16.
Three days later, two undercover police officers saw through the jalousie window the two minors posed naked in front of the computer inside Jane’s house.
A search warrant was issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 55 Acting Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr.
During the raid, the RAHTFF operatives failed to catch the children in the act. They inspected the couple’s personal computer, which was logged on to a porn site.
A chat box revealed one of the couple’s alleged clients, who asked them to let their children undress in front of the computer.
Based on the investigation of the RAHTTF, the couple has been operating for almost a year.
Pres. Benigno Aquino III last February signed RA 10364 into law, amending RA 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Under the new law, recruitment in the guise of domestic or overseas employment for sexual exploitation, forced labor or involuntary debt bondage, can now be considered human trafficking.
Recruitment of any Filipina to marry a foreigner, engagement in sex tourism, recruitment for organ removal, and recruitment of a child to engage in armed activities abroad are also prohibited.
For Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Maria Luisa Ratilla, the Local Government Units’ vigilance will be a great help in fighting human trafficking, which she described as a global concern.
Ratilla is a member of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).
“IACAT cannot be everywhere, so the best way to combat trafficking is coordination among stakeholders. Preventive measure should also be strengthened like addressing poverty, values formation through pulong-pulong sa barangay, regulate the use of net technology, strict issuance of bar permits and monitoring,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2013.