Toddler rescued from alleged sexual online exploitation

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol September 15,2017 - 03:14 PM

A two-year-old girl who was allegedly exposed to online sexual exploitation by her own mother was rescued by the police in Barangay Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, on Thursday.

Annie (not her real name) was immediately turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for proper intervention after the operation.

Her mother eluded arrest.

Based on the investigation, the suspect allegedly offered to sexually abuse her daughter in live-stream videos for paying customers abroad.

In a press release issued on Friday, the International Justice Mission (IJM) said the suspect reportedly demanded P6,000 to P15,000 from foreigners.

Another victim, who was rescued, told the police that she was forced to strip naked by the suspect who sent her nude photos online.

Authorities had yet to determine the age of the second victim.

The Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC) of the Philippine National Police were set to file complaints against the suspect for criminal violations under Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Republic Act 9775 the Anti-Child Pornography Act in relation to Republic Act 10175 the Cybercrime Prevention Act and potentially other related violations.

The complaints would be filed at the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office. The IJM and the police earlier received a tip regarding the illegal operations of the suspect.

“The awareness of the public on the existence of the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) in the Philippines is slowly increasing and added to that is the enormous effort of our government to curb exploitation of children, which contributes to the seeming proliferation of OSEC,” said Col. Shiela Portento of the WCPC.

“If we look into the situation of OSEC in the country based on the international reports, it is quite alarming but as we see it on our perspective we have already achieved remarkable accomplishments. Indeed we cannot deny the existence or the proliferation of OSEC but the PNP particularly the WCPC is doing its share to eliminate this type of crime,” she added.

Lawyer John Tanagho, IJM Cebu Field Office Director, said he was saddened by yet another case of sexual exploitation involving parent and children.

“Imagine, a mother offering to sexually abuse her 2-year-old daughter and even live-stream that abuse? We can’t blame this all on poverty—millions of Filipinos work hard to provide for their families through honest and dignified means, even if they live simply,” he said in a press statement.

“Online sexual exploitation of children is about individuals with distorted moral values who are willing to mistreat and sexually abuse children to make money, without regard for the God-given dignity and innocence of children,” he added.

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TAGS: International Justice Missioin, Lapu-Lapu City, online sexual exploitation, Sexual abuse, toddler, Women and Children's Protection Center

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