FOUR women charged for online sexual exploitation pleaded guilty in two separate cases in Lapu-Lapu City last Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
These four convictions came as an early celebration for Cebu as they occurred a day before the nation commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution.
The first conviction that day stemmed from a sting operation conducted by the Women and Children Protection Center Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) on March 21, 2019.
The unit was able to rescue two boys and seven girls and arrest three female suspects who were all related to the nine minors removed from the scene.
The suspects were charged with qualified trafficking in persons under Republic Act 10364 and violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 under RA 10175.
Justice came swiftly, as these same suspects pleaded guilty on Feb. 24 to the crimes of Attempted Trafficking and Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications and Indecent shows at the Regional Trial Court Branch 70 in Lapu-Lapu City.
RTC Branch 70 presiding judge Christine Muga-Abad sentenced each of the three suspects to the penalty of 15 years imprisonment and to pay P600,000 in fines, P100,000 in exemplary damages and P500,000 in moral damages.
Lapu-Lapu City prosecutor Antonio Aseniero, who is in charge of the case, expressed his delight in the outcome of the case.
“Raising a child takes a village; at the same time, protecting a child takes a community. This is a testament for the cooperation with law enforcement, the justice system, and non-government organizations such as International Justice Mission,” Aseniero said.