A 69-year-old Japanese man was caught with an underage girl in a motel room at General Maxilom Avenue at 3.30pm last Wednesday.
The man was identified as Yoshiyo Morino was presented to reporters at Vice Governor Agnes Magpale’s conference room yesterday.
Morino was silent as NBI agents recounted the details of the operation.
“I am so sorry for causing a problem,” the suspect told reporters after the presentation.
He said he only found out about the girl’s age yesterday and was surprised that she was only 15 years old.
Morino, a retired chef from Tokyo City, is a widower and has two adult children. He arrived in Cebu last month for a vacation.
This wasn’t the first time he visited the Philippines since he also came here several times already.
Social workers took custody of the 15-year-old girl after the operation.
NBI Agent Donaver Inesin, a lawyer, said Morino and the girl met in an online dating site last month.
Not long into their first online conversation, Morino allegedly initiated a meet-up.
Last February 23, Morino allegedly brought the girl to his hotel in Mandaue City and let her eat ice cream after lunch in a mall at the South Road Properties.
Two days later, Morino brought her to the hotel again and allegedly forced her into sex.
Inesin said it was that time when the girl told her parents that she was held against her will for intercourse.
Her parents, natives of Naga City, came to Vice Gov. Magpale for help.
The vice governor brought the matter to the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) which she co-chairs. The NBI is represented in the PWC technical working group.
Morino admitted that he did have sex twice with the girl but he didn’t force her into it.
He also said he believed she was already 19 years old as stated on her dating site profile.
“She told me that if I bought her a cellphone, she will be my girlfriend,” Morino said. The tourist said he bought her a cellphone worth 2,000 pesos.
Morino alleged that the girl even told him that she had a 17-year-old friend who can also be his girlfriend if he bought her a cellphone too.
“I felt really guilty when I found out about her age. The (website) should have stricter rules in creating accounts so people like me won’t make the same mistake,” he said.
Inesin said Morino will be charged for child abuse, trafficking, and rape.
Provincial social worker Yvette Deguit said this incident showed just how easy it is for young people to access social media.
“You don’t need to go to an Internet café to access the web anymore. You can do it on your phone. With the youth today being tech-savvy, it’s not impossible that they will also go to websites that aren’t suitable for them,” she said during the presentation.
She said while they still don’t have evidence of the involvement of the girl’s parents in the case, they should monitor their daughter’s activities from now on.
Like Us on Facebook