Lapu-Lapu solon calls for more laws to eliminate cyberporn

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


QUEZON CITY—Rep. Aileen Radaza (Lapu-Lapu City, lone district) tackled cyber prostitution in Cebu during her first privilege speech in Congress yesterday.

The congresswoman urged her fellow lawmakers to enact measures to address the problem, such as incorporating responsible use of the Internet in the school curriculum and holding more seminars related to cyberpornography nationwide.

Radaza's speech was witnessed by about 8,000 people who gathered at the Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu City to kick off the City's celebration of Women's Month.

“Given the serious nature of this problem, it is unfortunate that these operations are being run by small and medium-scale operators under the guise of Internet services,” Radaza said of cyber prostitution.

Authorities have conducted raids against home-based cybersex dens in Cordova, a neighboring town of Lapu-Lapu, for the past few years. The problem has caught international attention.

Last month, officials from the Netherlands visited Cordova and talked to officials of the town and other government agencies to forge a partnership against cyber pornography.

Agency

Radaza lamented the absence of an agency dedicated to monitoring and cracking down on cybersex operations, saying more women and children may still be suffering from the abuse.

“Those that are documented may appear to be isolated, few and sporadic but we know that more is happening unnoticed because they occur in the confines of residences and other inconspicuous places where unwilling victims are made to do the unimaginable,” she said.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Paz Radaza, mother of the congresswoman, also called on all sectors to contribute to the fight against cyber prostitution.

“I urged educators, civil society and church groups to please work together to strengthen value formation,” she said.

Monitoring

She cited data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development 7 showing that 34 cases of cyber prostitution were recorded in Cebu last year.

The mayor said City Hall is constantly monitoring possible operations of cyber prostitution in the city.

Congresswoman Radaza, for her part, underscored the need for stronger awareness campaign.

“We can also create a roadmap that will allow us to reach out to the entire nation by conducting information campaigns, seminars and workshops,” she said.

She also raised the need for Congress to look into websites that promote prostitution and operate under the guise of legitimate services like massage therapy.

Women’s month

Lady lawmakers took over the session yesterday, as the Congress observers Women's Month. Radaza was one of the six lady lawmakers who delivered a speech.

The crowd at the Hoopsdome watched her speech through live streaming. A video of the crowd was also flashed at the wide screens at the Congress plenary hall.

Radaza ended her five-minute speech by asking all lawmakers present to ring the small bells her staff earlier placed at their desks.

Rep. Cheryl Samontalia (Zambales, second district) in an interview with reporters, said she would support a bill against cyber prostitution if Radaza files one.

“It's totally new to the whole world, not only in the Philippines,” she said.

She added that some lawmakers have expressed interest to co-author a bill against cyber prostitution with Radaza.

Lady lawmakers took turns presiding the session yesterday. Among them were Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, third district) and Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 04, 2014.

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