Court convicts 4 women from Lapu-Lapu for sexual exploitation

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | March 04,2021 - 10:02 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Four women accused for sexually exploiting minors in the internet are now facing jail time. 

Branch 70 of the Regional Trial Court in Lapu-Lapu City convicted four women in two separate cases related to online sexual exploitation of children.

Presiding Judge Christine Muga-Abad made the decision on both cases on February 24, 2021, the International Justice Mission (IJM) said in recent a press statement.

They added that all the suspects entered in separate, plea bargaining arrangements. 

“Plea bargaining proved to be an effective strategy to secure justice for victims of online sexual exploitation as four women pleaded guilty for their crimes in two separate cases in Lapu-Lapu City this Wednesday (February 24),” IJM said. 

The first conviction involved three female suspects the Women and Children Protection Center Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) arrested last March 2019. 

Enforcers rescued a total of nine minors while the suspects were lodged with complaints for Qualified Trafficking in Persons (Republic Act No. 10364) and for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175). 

The court sentenced the accused of 15 years imprisonment and to pay penalty totaling to P600,000 after they pleaded guilty to charges of attempted Trafficking and Immoral Doctrines, Obscene Publications and Indecent shows. 

The second conviction stemmed from another operation led by the WCPC-VFU in 2018 in which a mother was caught sending child sexual exploitation materials to foreigners. 

Among those rescued were her three year-old son and a five year-old girl. 

After pleading guilty to offenses of possession of child pornography, attempted trafficking and obscene publication and indecent shows, the court sentenced the mother of imprisonment of 23 years, one month and one day, and fines reaching up to P600,000. 

Lawyer Lucille Dejito, director of IJM Cebu Field Office, welcomed these twin developments. 

“Every trafficker restrained and convicted meant protection of other vulnerable children who would have been abused if perpetrators continue to exploit children with impunity. The conviction in these two cases is bringing protection to more children against online sexual exploitation,” said Dejito. 

/bmjo

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TAGS: Branch 70, Lapu-Lapu City, Regional Trial Court

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