Senator urges investigation into cyberpornography in PHL

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Thursday, May 22, 2014


SENATOR Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino on Thursday expressed alarm over the reported rampant cyber pornographic activities involving minors in the country.

The senator said the Philippines has been listed by international watchdog Virtual Global Task Force as among the top 10 countries with rampant cyber pornographic activities involving mostly boys and girls age 10-14.

Aquino added that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has identified 31 provinces as cybercrime hotspots for harboring cybersex and cyberporn hubs, and are being closely monitored.

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"Reports showed that most patrons of these multi-billion-dollar cyber activities are from the United States of America and European countries," said Aquino, chairperson of the Senate committee on youth.

Recently, 58 Filipinos were arrested in connection with alleged "sextortion" activities where suspects blackmail unsuspecting victims that they will spread their nude and compromising videos and photos online unless they pay huge amounts of money.

"This only shows that widespread incidence of prostitution and pornography in the Philippines has reached every part of the globe through cyberspace, and cybercrime dens operating in the country have reached international victims," Aquino said.

The rampant cybersex operation in the country is prevalent despite the existence of Republic Act No. 9775 otherwise known as the "Anti-Child Pornography Law of 2009."

The law prohibits any person from employing, inducing or coercing a child to engage or be involved in "explicit sexual activities, whether visual, audio, or written combination thereof, and knowingly distributes it in any manner."

Aside from this, the Philippines is a signatory to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

In line with this, Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to investigate exploitation and abuse of minors by cybersex syndicates and the rampant spread of online child pornography.

"There is a need to ensure that those who have access to Internet are protected from predators who search out children who are vulnerable and easily manipulated," Aquino said.

Aquino believes that constant vigilance is key to the possible eradication of these pornographic materials involving children. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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