Girl 'recruited' minors for 'porn acts'

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


THE 15 minors rescued by operatives of Cordova Police Station from an Australian national were allegedly recruited for pornography by their 17-year-old relative in Lapu-Lapu City, police said.

Joana (real name withheld) was arrested past 8 p.m. Tuesday, hours after Peter James Robinson was arrested inside a resort in Cordova.

The two will be charged today with violations of Republic Act (RA) 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) and RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons) as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons).

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PO2 Maria Ilona Lourdes Cimafranca said they are still checking Joana’s birth records because the suspect does not look like she’s underage.

Facebook contact

Joana is allegedly Robinson’s contact on Facebook and was the one who allegedly accompanied the children to Manila, where they were abused inside a hotel.

“She was the one who told the children that they would play inside the room. She then instructed them to undress,” said Cimafranca, the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) chief.

Afterward, Cimafranca said Robinson allegedly gave each child P1,000. The two suspects are just friends.

To determine if the children’s pictures were posted online, Cimafranca said Robinson’s gadgets like laptop, cellphones, wi-fi modem and two computer hard drives were turned over to the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Group for forensic examination.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Noel Gillamac said they will also conduct a profiling to check if Robinson had other victims aside from the minors who were rescued.

“As what we have gathered, (Robinson) goes from town to town; maybe even in the cities or in Bohol or Siquijor,” Gillamac said.

Robinson’s arrest was a result of the quick action of the Lapu-Lapu City Government after it received complaints about Robinson’s activities.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza confirmed that the 15 minors all come from one barangay in the city and are studying in schools in the same area. She, however, declined to name the barangay.

Complaint

Radaza said some of the parents and teachers reported to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Lapu-Lapu about Robinson’s activities. The City then sought the assistance of the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB).

DSWD personnel then went to the barangay in Lapu-Lapu and asked for more information about Robinson’s activities. A 17 year-old minor, who was not able to join the other 15 at that time, was brought during the rescue operation to locate Robinson’s whereabouts.

The rescued minors remain in the care of the DSWD and will undergo stress debriefing and counseling.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said the parents should be charged if evidence will show that they connived with Joana and Robinson.

But Cimafranca said most parents denied knowing that Joana and Robinson were allegedly into pornography.

Following Robinson’s arrest, Gillamac yesterday encouraged resort owners to report to police foreign nationals who are seen suspiciously accompanying minors.

Gillamac also said he monitors and conducts inventories on foreigners leaving the province, as well as dismissed law enforcers.

“These dismissed law enforcers are prone to commit illegal activities so we monitor them before it’s too late,” he added.
Robinson has denied he is involved in child pornography, saying he visits Cebu for vacation only. He resides has been residing in Manila for two years now. (With FMG/Andrea Denise H. Chua, USJ-R Masscomm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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