ILIGAN CITY -- A 30-year-old online trafficker pleaded guilty last Friday, February 8, two months after police arrested her for offering to sexually exploit her nine-year-old daughter in exchange for money from online predators.
Before Judge Anisah Amanodin-Umpa of the Iligan City Regional Trial Court Branch 2, the mother confessed to the crime of attempted trafficking in persons, child abuse, and possession of child pornography.
She was sentenced to more or less 15 to 23 years imprisonment, and ordered to pay a total of P600,000 in fines.
The online trafficker was arrested in an entrapment operation on December 5, 2018 in Iligan City, after she was caught offering to stream live sexually explicit acts involving her daughter to earn cash from foreigners online.
The entrapment operation was carried out by the Philippine National Police–Women and Children Protection Center-Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU).
The woman's nine-year-old daughter was rescued, while four other children, three of whom were the trafficker’s sons, were removed from the home because they were considered at-risk. The trafficker’s name is withheld due to her relationship with the victims.
Prior to the trafficker’s arrest, the WCPC-MFU had placed the woman under surveillance for over a month after receiving a report about her illegal online activities. After a thorough investigation, police confirmed that she had been trafficking children in exchange for money from online predators abroad who pay to direct and watch online the actual sexual abuse of children.
At the time of rescue, IJM Cebu Field Office Director John Tanagho said: “With every rescue and arrest operation, vulnerable children of the Philippines are protected more and more from this violent and degrading abuse called Osec (Online Sexual Exploitation of Children) as traffickers are held accountable. Every operation sends the message to the community that the lives and dignity of children are worth more than money.”
“We thank Assistant City Prosecutor Fiscal Jasmin Diaz for her continued diligence in prosecuting Osec cases, including this one. Justice for these five children was achieved today, and we pray this resolution through plea bargaining aids in their continued journey to healing. I will say it again, the lives and dignity of children are worth more than money,” Tanagho added.
Friday's (February 8) conviction marks the 56th IJM-supported Osec conviction since 2011. (PR)