A Cebu court has sentenced a 32-year-old man to life for broadcasting the online sexual abuse of an underage boy.
Eul Vincent Ondoy Rodriguez was arrested in 2014 after US immigration officials alerted the Philippine authorities about his involvement in the vile online trade.
Judge Ester Veloso of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court today (Monday, August 20) convicted him of qualified trafficking in persons. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and also ordered to pay 2.6 million pesos in fine and damages.
Rodriguez was originally arrested at a hotel in Cebu City by operatives of the police’s Regional Intelligence Division and the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.
The victim, a 13-year-old boy, was taken into protective custody by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
During the trial, the victim testified that Rodriguez had originally befriended him two years earlier.
The following year, Rodriguez began taking him to an internet café where he was sexually abused on camera. He told the court that he had been forced to strip naked for paying foreign customers at least 20 times.
The fight against online sexual abuse
The arrest and conviction of Rodriguez was supported by the International Justice Mission (IJM), an international organisation that fights poverty and abuse.
Today’s online sexual abuse conviction was the 39th that IJM has been involved with across the Philippines.
John Tanagho, the organisation’s Cebu Field Officer, said: “Today’s conviction of another online trafficker — the 39th such conviction — is a reminder that the Philippine justice system is defending the rights of innocent children from the violence of online sexual exploitation.
“Online traffickers who rob children of dignity and freedom will only, in the end, forfeit their own freedom as the courts deliver justice for victims of Osec [the online sexual exploitation of children] throughout this nation.”
Follow our Facebook page for daily news updates