AUTHORITIES raided the houses of two families suspected of operating online child pornography in Sitio Bangkal in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova yesterday morning.
Three persons, a woman and a couple, were arrested by operatives of the Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC)-Visayas Field Unit.
Chief Insp. Rose Santolorin, the WCPC head, said four children, the youngest of whom is a seven-year-old girl, were rescued.
The minors were brought to social workers for debriefing and counseling.
Two search warrants issued by Cebu City Executive Judge Soliver Peras authorized the raid, which was also aided by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) personnel.
Several computers, cell phones and Internet-access devices were seized from the suspects.
The suspects will be charged with violating Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) and RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act), as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons).
The offenses are non-bailable.
Section 4 of RA 10175 punishes content-related offenses like cybersex and child pornography.
Under RA 9208, a person is prohibited “to recruit, transport, transfer; harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage.”
The law was amended through RA 10364, which does not give offenders the confidentiality clause they enjoyed while RA 9208 was in effect. The amended version also gives people who rescue trafficking victims immunity from suits.
Last July 30, WCPC operatives arrested a 22-year-old mother for using her two daughters, ages five and two, in her cyberpornography business in Barangay Buagsong, Cordova.
From 2011 until 2013, authorities had arrested 11 persons, most of them parents or relatives of the victims, for engaging in online pornography.
They also rescued more than 20 minors in the villages of Ibabao, Cogon, and San Miguel, all in Cordova.