Online trafficking: 15 years in prison for 2 Lapu-Lapu women
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — Two women were sentenced to 15 years in jail after they admitted guilt for the attempted trafficking of children.
Violation of Republic Act 9208 that penalises trafficking in person is also punishable with a fine of P500,000.
Both women were also directed to pay moral damages of P500,000 and another P100,000 as exemplary damages to each of their five victims.
The suspects, whose names are being withheld, were sentenced by a Trial Court in Lapu-Lapu City last March 11, 2022 after they agreed to a plea bargain on accusations that they abused minors in exchange for money, the International Justice Mission said in a statement.
The two suspects were among the five women who were arrested while they were inside two homes in Lapu-Lapu City during an entrapment operation on March 21, 2019 by the Women and Children Protection Center Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU).
The three others were already sentenced on February 2021.
During their March 2019 operation, authorities rescued 11 minors including children whose ages were 2, 6, 7 and 12.
“This conviction was the conclusion of members of the PNP Women and Children Protection Center – Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) (who) caught the traffickers offering to sexually abuse the minors and stream live the exploitation in exchange for money from online predators,” the IJM statement read.
“The fight against OSEC continues…With God’s guidance and the help of the community, such as the IJM, anything and everything is possible,” says Lawyer Antonio Asiniero, the Regional Prosecutor who is in-charge of the case.
Lawyer Lucille Dejito, director of IJM Cebu Field Office, for her part said, “the Plea bargaining strategy again proved to be an effective legal instrument to secure justice for the survivors of the March 2019 rescue. With the 2 suspects pleading guilty for other offenses such as Attempted Trafficking, their victims can now be assured that justice has finally prevailed.”
The conviction happened less than a week after the third anniversary of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center, a cooperation among local and international law enforcement, namely the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC), the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human-Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD), the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA); in partnership with non-government organization, International Justice Mission (IJM).
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