The resignation of Capitol consultant for jail matters Marco Toral did little to diminish the stink caused by the discovery of a cellphone and laptop in the possession of inmates Eileen Ontong and German Thomas Ruhland at the Provincial Jail.
If anything, that discovery, along with the recent arrest of a teenage mom accused of taking videos of her children bathing in Cordova town, exposed some gaping holes in the provincial government’s campaign against cyberpornography.
Toral’s resignation came even before the Provincial Board (PB) started their investigation into the incident. That Ontong and Ruhland managed to secure a cellphone and laptop respectively could only mean that they’re continuing their illicit trade in cahoots with jail guards.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III can order the replacement of these guards, but what’s the assurance that similar incidents won’t happen again? That, God forbid, the Provincial Jail will not only become a hotspot for cyberpornography but also a transhipment point for illegal drugs like what happened to the National Penitentiary or Bilibid in Muntinlupa City.
The incident represents a serious breach of security that has not been acted on decisively so far by the governor. Does the province need to hire the Special Action Force (SAF) to secure the provincial jail?
Davide should set things right and if more heads need to roll, then so be it. The governor may have given Toral a graceful exit by allowing him to resign, but last week’s incident showed that security had been so lax that an inmate managed to escape by posing as a visitor.
Speaking of cyberpornography, there was already an incident involving one mother video-recording her children simulating sexual acts that occurred in Cordova town, and yet municipal officials led by now Cordova Vice Mayor Adelino Sitoy seem powerless to stop it.
Last week’s episode even surprised Sitoy, who said it happened in a barangay that wasn’t considered a cyberpornography hotspot. But since when did those engaged in cyberpornography become quite selective in where they engage in their lurid trade so long as they do it under the radar?
Despite her youth, the mother certainly must know that what she was doing is wrong. After all she knows enough how to operate her presumably touch screen smartphone and upload the video to interested foreign pedophile clients whom she would charge a fee for viewing.
Cordova officials should mobilize the community to assume a proactive stance in monitoring and reporting suspected cyberpornography traffickers in their midst at a time when purveyors can simply upload sexually explicit material and receive payments through their smartphones.
The two Sitoys in Cordova should maximize whatever resources and people they have at their disposal to go after cyberpornographers.
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