CYBERPORN MOTHERS NABBED
In a span of three days, two women were arrested by the police in Cordova town on Mactan Island and in Talisay City for engaging in cyberpornography, victimizing their own children and sisters.
A 20-year-old mother was jailed yesterday after she was caught selling online the nude photos of her two young sisters in a cyberpornography operation in Talisay City that was being tracked by authorities for about a month.
Earlier on Tuesday, a cybersex trafficker who exploited her own mentally disabled sister and who allegedly also abused four other children, including her sister’s three-year-old daughter, was likewise nabbed by the Cebu City–based PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) in an entrapment operation in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova.
In the Talisay raid, the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Unit, led by its regional head Chief Insp. Leo Dofiles, arrested Jennifer (not her real name) in a sting operation that followed a month of surveillance.
The operation was conducted by Dofiles’ team jointly with the Provincial Public Safety Company, Special Weapons and Tactics, Talisay City Police Station, International Agency Council Against Trafficking, International Justice Mission, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Dofiles said they have been monitoring Jennifer for almost a month since they were alerted that she was engaged in cyberpornography, victimizing her sisters aged 16 and 17 years old.
A member of the Anti-Cybercrime Unit acted as the customer buying the nude photos of these minors by pretending he was Caucasian.
“We had a long conversation through Facebook, and when she finally agreed (to) deal with us, we conduct the operation (on Friday),” Dofiles said.
Dofiles said that Jennifer transacted with her clients who were mostly foreigners through private messages on Facebook. In order to entrap her, the agent used a photo of a foreigner to pretend to be a customer. Jennifer asked for P4,000 to P5,000 as payment for a batch of nude photos.
After authorities were able to confirm that she lives in Barangay Dumlog in Talisay City, they immediately raided her house and caught her transacting with a customer through her cellular phone. Her two sisters, who were present during the arrest, were taken in custody and now placed in the case of the DSWD regional office.
Jennifer has two children, aged two years old and nine months old, both of whom were also turned over to the DSWD after her arrest.
In an interview by Cebu Daily News, Jennifer admitted to engaging in cyberpornography but insisted she had no choice but to do it because her husband was only a trisikad driver and they needed money to feed their two young children.
She claimed she began engaging in cyberpornography only last month, with a foreigner she befriended on Facebook as her first client. She started sending nude photos for a fee of P1,000 until the price escalated to P4,000 when she sent him nude videos of her sisters.
She insisted that her husband and her parents, who live nearby, have no knowledge of her illicit trade.
The Anti-Cybercrime Unit was now preparing charges involving violation of Republic Act (RA) 10364, or the Trafficking in Persons Act, RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act), RA 97775 (Child Pornography Act) and RA 7610, the Child Abuse Act.
Meanwhile in the Cordova arrest, Supt. Maria Shiela Portento of the WCPC said that charges were filed yesterday against the suspect, Maria (not her real name), 38, for operating a cyberpornography den.
Maria was caught also using her mobile phone to sell nude photos and videos of her children and that of her own teenaged sister.
Authorities said they were able to rescue three boys aged eight, seven and two; Maria’s 19-year-old sister and the latter’s three-year-old daughter; and Maria’s own two-year-old daughter.
Police were still determining if Maria also engaged her own daughter in cyberpornography.
Portento said Maria reportedly began exploiting her sister when she was only 13 years old.
Maria, who is currently detained at the detention cell of the Cordova Police Station, would face charges of violation of RA 10364 and RA 10175, said Senior Supt. Romeo Perigo, WCPC Visayas Field Unit chief.
Perigo said they caught Maria with the help of international law enforcement agencies.
“The WCPC has zero tolerance for these pedophiles who exploit our children,” she said.
“It is so unfortunate that our children, the most vulnerable members of our society, will have to suffer in the hands of this ruthless evil,” she added.
Yesterday’s raid was the second one conducted by law enforcers in the town of Cordova this week. Last Tuesday afternoon, seven minors were rescued from another female cyberpornography trafficker, also in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova.
Due to the rampant incidents of cyberpornography in her town, Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho has earlier dangled a P20,000 cash reward as bounty to anyone who could provide credible information that could pinpoint cyberporn dens and lead to the arrest of more suspects.
For her part, Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale lauded the police, concerned groups and local government units (LGUs) for the success of their anti-cyberpornography drive.
“I would like to congratulate the personnel from the PNP for arresting them, and this is the second time this week. This just goes to show that we’re not letting up with our operations against online human trafficking and cyberpornography,” said Magpale.
“I am happy (that) finally nasakpan (they were caught),” she said.
Magpale said she knew that many are enticed into engaging in cyberpornography, including parents who victimized their own minor children, because “it’s big money,” but they were eventually caught.
“Para sa mga mama kay litrato ra na (For mothers, those were just pictures). They cannot imagine the effect,” said Magpale, who co-chairs the Provincial Women’s Commission and the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children.
Magpale stressed the provincial government has programs to support and rehabilitate victims of cyberpornography, provided they are endorsed by the government’s social welfare office.
While refusing to comment on Cordova’s plans to hand out P20,000 to anyone who can provide information on cyberporn dens, Magpale said the provincial government is not keen on adapting a bounty system to solve the rampant cases of online human trafficking and cyberpornography.
Instead, she added, they would intensify their education campaign against cyberpornography.
“We will aim to enable the parents to understand that cybersex is not just about taking a photo and video, and sell them around $5 to $50 to foreign clients. The damage is so much more than that, especially on the part of the children and victim,” she added.
Magpale added Capitol was also still open to have dialogues with money remittance outlets, which have been known to be where some money transactions were being done by cyberporn traffickers and their clients, in order to prevent their use in criminal activities.
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