A 21-year-old woman from Lapu-Lapu City has been sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to online trafficking of children.
The unnamed woman was sentenced in Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11 — the region’s designated Cybercrime Court — for the Attempted Trafficking in Persons yesterday (Wednesday, January 30).
She was also ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 pesos along with ‘moral and exemplary damages’ amounting to a further pesos 500,000.
She will serve an additional two months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession of Child Pornography, for which she was also ordered to pay another fine of 50,000 .
The woman was originally charged with Qualified Trafficking in Persons, which bears the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than two million pesos.
She was arrested at her home in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova, in June last year.
She was caught in the act of offering to live-stream the sexual abuse of two girls, aged three and 12, in exchange for money from a foreign customer.
The operation led to the rescue of eight children. One of them is the woman’s younger sister, and the others her nieces and one nephew.
Because the Lapu-Lapu woman pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain, none of the victims were required to testify in court.
As we reported earlier this week, a 56-year-old online trafficker from Mandaue City was sentenced to 16 years after she pleaded guilty to Attempted Trafficking in Persons, Attempt to Commit Child Trafficking, and Possession of Child Pornography.
The convictions were secured with the assistance of the International Justice Mission (IJM), an organisation that fights slavery and child abuse across the world.
John Tanagho, its field officer in Cebu said: “The two convictions this week in Cebu of OSEC [online sexual abuse of children] traffickers show that the justice system is effectively holding accountable those perpetrators who sexually abuse children and live-stream those abusive materials online.
“Thorough investigations by the police, effective DOJ prosecutions using plea bargaining and close collaboration with social workers is helping the justice system provide real and timely justice to survivors of this form of human trafficking.”
To date, the IJM has helped secure 54 OSEC convictions, supported the police in the arrest of 181 perpetrators and the rescue of 422 victims and at-risk children.
Follow our Facebook page for daily news updates