Monday, December 17, 2018

3 pre-teen girls rescued from sex abuse racket

(International Justice Mission photo)

HUMAN trafficking charges will be filed against a woman who allegedly sexually exploited three girls, all minors, inside her house in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova and in Talisay City last April 23.

Operatives of the Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC) in Central Visayas will file the cases for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act, in relation to RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The police arrested the woman, whose identity they did not disclose, and rescued three girls ages 6, 9, and 11 in separate operations in Cordova town and Talisay City.

The suspected trafficker reportedly offered to sexually abuse the girls and to live-stream the abuse to foreigners overseas for P3,000.

The woman allegedly had access to six young children whom she could force to perform sexual acts online, in exchange for money.

Two of the girls, ages 6 and 11, were rescued in the suspect’s house in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova. The suspect’s two sons, ages 2 and 8, were also removed from her residence and will undergo assessment to determine if they are also victims.

A follow-up operation in Talisay City led to the rescue of a nine-year-old girl.

Authorities are verifying if the suspect is a relative of the three sisters who were arrested in Lapu-Lapu City for sexual exploitation of the minors last month, acts that were also made available online.

“Our heart breaks for children victimized in online sexual exploitation, who are stripped of their dignity by being stripped of their clothes for the camera. Now that these children are rescued, they can be safe from any more sexual abuse and receive therapy to heal from this traumatic experience,” said lawyer John Tanagho, International Justice Mission (IJM) Cebu field office director.

Joint effort

He urged the public to report any suspected case of child cyberpornography to their office or any police station.

Last March 22 and 23, 2018, police took into their custody three suspected traffickers and rescued five girls during back-to-back operations in Lapu-Lapu City.

The operations were carried out as a joint effort of WCPC-Visayas, the Anti-CyberCrime Group 7, the Provincial Women and Children’s Protection Desk, Department of Social Welfare and Development 7, and International Justice Mission. (GMD)


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