A USB containing several pictures of nude children and adults was allegedly recovered from Australian national Peter James Robinson who was arrested for child pornography.

Senior Insp. Alexander Nuñez, Cordova police chief, believes the adults are the children’s mothers. He said once they uncover the adults’ identities they will file charges against them.

Lawyer Noemi Truya-Abarientos of the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) said parents who force their children into prostitution or pornography are liable under Republic Act (RA) 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

“This is alarming. They should cooperate with the police,” she said. “Being parents of the victims is an aggravating circumstance.”

Robinson and his 17-year-old friend were arrested separately by Cordova police last Tuesday.

Foreign cohorts

Fifteen minors—11 girls and four boys whose ages range from eight to 15 years old—were rescued.

Authorities learned about Robinson’s alleged illegal activity after a 14-year-old girl reported to Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Lapu-Lapu City that he abused her.

Abarientos said they also received reports that Robinson and two other cohorts, who are also foreigners, had abused 36 other minors.

Robinson and Joana (real name withheld) were charged before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor yesterday afternoon.

Complaints for violating RA 7610 (the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act), RA 9775 (the Anti-Child Pornography Law) and RA 10364 were filed against Robinson.

Joana was also charged with violating RA 10364. She allegedly recruited the minors who are her relatives.

Cordova police endorsed affidavits of three rescued minors and pictures of evidence like cellphone, flash-drive, laptop, and external hard drive.

Lawyer Vincent Isles of CLB said they will endorse the 12 remaining sworn statements of the alleged victims today at the provincial prosecutor’s office.

Nuñez said some parents and guardians of the minors defended Robinson.

During the inquest conducted by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Ethel Miel, the suspects opted not to avail themselves of their right to preliminary investigation.

The complaints, as a result, will be endorsed to court for trial. The offenses are non-bailable.

The suspects’ lawyer, Ferdinand Dungog, said he will question the legality of the arrests since there was no warrant.

‘Only allegations’

He said he will file a motion in court to nullify the charges against his clients.

“There was no crime committed that time,” said Dungog. “From the allegations of the police officers, I don’t find any reason why they should arrest a person when he is in companion with some minors and these minors were accompanied by their parents and guardians.”

PO2 Maria Ilona Lourdes Cimafranca, the Women and Children’s Protection Desk chief, said they’d placed Robinson under surveillance before they arrested him.

She said they saw the children leave the foreigner’s rented room in a resort in Cordova.

Abarientos urged local government units to create ordinances that will safeguard minors from foreigners who are pedophiles and who are involved in pornography.

She said she noticed a trend in child pornography: foreigners who reside in other parts of the country would visit Cebu and recruit minors for sex for a fee of P1,000.

Last year, police arrested a French national who visited Cebu to have sex with minors.