A couple were arrested in Iligan City after being caught in the act of live-streaming the sexual abuse of their children.
Their children, aged four, five and seven, have been taken into protective custody following the raid.
According to a report on GMA News today (Friday, November 24) the operation followed a tip-off from New Zealand. It was conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation’s anti-trafficking division (NBI-AHTRAD) with support from the International Justice Mission.
NBI-AHTRAD chief Janet Francisco said: “I do not understand why the parent can commit abuse, sell their own children.”
The couple, who have not been named to protect the anonymity of the children, now face charges of human trafficking, child pornography, child abuse and cybercrime.
Iligan is considered a hot-spot for the vile trade in so-called “cyberpornography”.
In June, we reported that four children, one aged only two, had been rescued from a cyberporn den in the city.
Then, in July, we reported on the arrest of a 31-year-old Iligan woman who was exploiting her own daughters, aged 12 and 15.
Both these earlier raids were supported by the International Justice Mission (IJM), a worldwide group that works to protect women and children living in poverty.
According to IJM, there has been an alarming rise of online sexual abuse of children in the Philippines. According to data gathered by America’s FBI, there are some 75,000 online predators at any given moment in the world.
A large proportion of their victims, the IJM says, are Filipino children.
From 2011 to 2017, IJM has rescued 201 child victims of sexual exploitation. More than half of them were aged under 12, and over 70 per cent were suffering abuse that involved their own parents, relatives, or close family friends.
The US recently gave $3.5 million to the Philippines to assist the fight against the vile crime.
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