A woman who offered to sexually abuse her three-year-old daughter and sisters online has been arrested in Surigao Del Sur.
Operatives of the Women and Children Protection Center – Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) also rescued the 22-year-old’s sisters aged 13 and 15 and her three-year-old daughter from their home in Barobo at about 11am today (August 16).
Although not yet confirmed as a victim, the suspect’s other daughter, aged two, has also been taken into protective custody.
An investigation into the woman began in February after the WCPC-MFU received information about alleged illegal online activities from a confidential source.
During online surveillance, investigators confirmed that the suspect offered to sexually abuse her sisters and daughter and livestream the abuse in exchange for money.
She will now be charged for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or Republic Act 9208 (as amended by RA 10364). Charges may also be brought under RA 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012), RA 9775 (Anti‐Child Pornography Act of 2009) and RA 7610 (Child Abuse Law).
Colonel Christine Tan, chief of the WCPC-MFU, said: “Today’s successful operation is another testament to our commitment to lock up people who exploit our children online and to bring rescue to their victims.
“The WCPC, our partner law enforcement units, and the entire criminal justice system will be relentless in our effort to end online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) in the Philippines. To those who are doing this crime or have plans to do it for easy money, you cannot hide. We know how to get you.”
Today’s raid was supported by the International Justice Mission (IJM), an organisation that fights exploitation and slavery worldwide. John Tanagho, director of its Cebu Field Office, said: “Some blame OSEC on poverty.
“Yet millions of poor Filipinos work hard — sometimes two jobs — to earn an honest living without sexually abusing children online. While OSEC offenders are often motivated by the desire for a lot of ‘easy money’, it is a weak excuse to blame OSEC on poverty. Filipino children deserve better.
“OSEC severely harms children emotionally, causing them to suffer trauma. IJM urges community members to immediately report cases of suspected OSEC to authorities so that young children are not abused for another day.”
To report a suspected case of OSEC, text ENDOSEC to 7444-28473.