WITH the growing cases of cybercrimes, two individuals were formally charged for human trafficking using a mobile application after they were busted in an operation by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG)-Davao.
In an entrapment conducted on September 20, authorities apprehended two persons who used a popular app "WeChat" to pimp and used the minor to do sexual works.
WeChat, a popular social media application, was already banned in some countries as it was being used for prostitution purposes.
According to reports from the court, on September 21, 2016 at around 4:30 p.m. a case was filed against the suspects who were identified as Peter John Cervantes, 24 years old, a resident of Moncado Village, Island garden of Samal and Vidal Baclaan Jr., 20, of Gempesano Extension, Davao City for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9208 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
The trafficking was done through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), this in pursuant to RA 10175 Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 before the Davao City Prosecutor's Office inquest proceedings docketed by Inquest Prosecutor Mariza Delos Santos-Juagan.
The arrested persons are now currently detained at the jail facility of the Davao City Police office.
In combating human trafficking, the City Social Services Development Office-Quick Response Team for Children’s Concern (CSSDO-QRTCC) has set up victim assistance for proper counseling of minors turned over to them.
Amid the increasing number of modern technologies, the recruitment of victims, coordination, transaction and exchanges among the human traffickers has also risen since technology such as mobile phones and social networking sites are widely used by traffickers to conduct their illegal operations, the PNP-ACG officials said.
With this, the law enforcers for anti-cybercrime focuses on heightening awareness in communities, urging the public to recognize the signs of human trafficking and report any suspicious activity.