Cordova cybersex: old news or what?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


LAST Nov. 5, 2013, the world learned about an internet sting pulled by Terre des Homnes, a group against child sex abuse: a virtual 10-year-old Filipina lured hundreds of pedophiles into offering money for her to perform online sex acts.

Fictitious "Sweetie" enabled Terre to collect in 2 1/2 months IP computer addresses and contact details of more than 1,000 suspected perpetrators. They were recorded by researchers' webcam in Amsterdam.

"That's the scariest part. They are fathers, husbands, partners, ordinary people you meet everyday."

In the Philippines alone, "tens of thousands" of kids are victimized by cybersex offenders, Terre said.

The hoax proved the pedophiles could be identified if governments were more active.

How much has been done after Terre turned over its dossier to Interpol last year?

But come closer to home, in Cordova, Cebu whose cybersex industry had long made local news headlines.

Yesterday an Agence France-Presse news feature on Inquirer's Page 1 seemed to give currency to the "old news."

'Cold case'

But is it ancient stuff? The AFP story indicates the extent of cybersex operations in Ibabao, reporting raids made earlier by local police with help of American and British agents. But it doesn't say they're over; instead, it suggests the problem is still there, with local government stumped by "invisibility" of the crime to eyes outside locked houses.

The story raises curiosity anew among Cebuanos: Mr. Mayor, what's going on in your backyard?

Typical reaction when outside media reports a situation many locals thought was
already a cold case.

The mayor may not be prepared to say his town is cybersex-free.

(paseares@gmail.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 28, 2014.

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