Two mothers face charges for exposing kids to cyberporn
Two mothers will be facing charges for exposing to cyberpornography their own children aged three months old to 17 years old.
Mariel (not her real name), 33, married and jobless, and her younger sister Jelly (real name withheld), 24, both residents of Sitio Sudtonggan, Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, will be charged for violating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 and The Crime Prevention Act of 2012.
They were arrested by the Lapu-Lapu City police, who were armed with a search warrant, in an entrapment operation with the International Justice Mission (IJM) on Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Basak.
The operatives rescued the five minors who were allegedly used in cyberpornography.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) took custody of two 17-year-old twin girls and a 10-year-old girl, who are daughters of Mariel, as well as the one-year-old son and three-month-old daughter of Jelly.
Chief Superintendent Rosefiela Santolorin, assistant chief of Women and Children Protection Center in Central Visayas (WCPC 7), said the police and IJM have been monitoring Mariel for almost a year after they received information that she was into cyberpornography.
Mariel, in an interview with Cebu Daily News, denied exposing her children to cyberpornography. But she admitted that she herself posed nude in front of the web camera to satisfy the lust of her foreign customers.
“I just want to help my husband who earns a meager income as construction worker,” she said in Cebuano.
She said they have six children but the boys are at her mother-in-law’s house in the same barangay.
Jelly, for her part, said she just happened to visit her sister Mariel with her three-month-old baby when the operatives came and arrested them.
“(It’s true I chat with somebody on Facebook but I never used my baby for cyberpornography. I only breastfeed her),” Jelly said.
Jelly added that her one-year-old son was just in their house a few meters away when police arrested them at Mariel’s house. She said her son was never involved in cyberpornography.
This was also the explanation of Mariel regarding the “rescue” of her 17-year-old daughter who was not in the house when the police arrived. She said the other twin sister just came from outside the house but was also taken into police custody.
Mariel admitted she was previously engaged in cyberpornography but she quit when two mothers, who are their neighbors, were also arrested by the Lapu-Lapu City police and IJM in 2014 for cyberporn operation.
But just last February, she bought a laptop and started chatting again with some foreigners to earn. She use prepaid load cards to connect to the Internet. She said her husband didn’t know she was engaged in cyberpornography.
She said the money she earned from foreign chat mates is only enough for food. Nothing is left for savings nor for the purchase of clothes for her children.
The two mothers are now in police custody. The five minors, on the other hand, are under the care of DSWD.
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